Butler Snow’s Julian D. Miller was recently quoted in The Bolivar Commercial’s article Delta Fresh Foods awarded grant commenting on the success of the Delta Fresh Foods Initiative’s ambitious three-year project to build community gardens in Mound Bayou, Winstonville and Shelby through the North Bolivar County Good Food Revolution:
The Delta Fresh Foods Initiative recently received an $83,300 grant from Bolivar Medical Center Foundation.
Delta Fresh Foods executive director Judy Belue said the $83,300 would be used for the first year of the ambitious three-year project to build community gardens in Mound Bayou, Winstonville and Shelby through the North Bolivar County Good Food Revolution.
“The project aims to rebuild a strong community-based local food system in these three communities where access to fresh, locally grown food is extremely limited,” Belue said.
The Good Food Revolution is part of the mission of the Delta Fresh Foods, which is a non-profit that has been working in the Delta for nearly 10 years.
Delta Fresh Foods works with growers and consumers that help build community and school gardens.
The non-profit also helps food producers in the Delta connect to markets and learn about consumer education.
“The goal for the project is to recruit local youth and to plan, build, and implement a local fresh food community,” said Julian Miller, co-founder and attorney at Butler Snow, LLP.
Belue explained the North Bolivar County Good Food Revolution would also seek to create a network of growers who want to scale up their food production to meet increased demand and to establish an appropriate retail outlet for sales.
“We are going to train youth from those communities to do community based research,” said Belue. “The youth will be out surveying residents of those three communities, and they will find out how much access they have to locally grown foods and to gage their interest in buying locally grown food and to support their local economy.”
Belue said they are partnering with Mississippi State University Department of Sociology where they will train about 20 youth in how to do the survey.
Belue said, “MSU will help us compile the data collection and analyze the data.”
The kids will work under the leadership of Dr. Leslie Hossfeld, the director of the Mississippi Food Insecurity Project at MSU.
Miller said this project would allow the students in the Delta to reap the benefits of the connection between local farms and school cafeterias.
Belue said Miller and North Bolivar teacher Terry Nolden would go through the process of recruiting students from the North Bolivar School District.
Miller said, “We have 60 community local food systems projects throughout the Delta, and we also establish funds for schools where the school districts are given locally grown fresh foods.”
The Delta Fresh Foods board will meet in August to discuss more about recruiting local youth and reaching out to the community about the upcoming 3-year project.
“Input from local residents in all three communities is extremely important, so the organization will convene a local advisory board in addition to interviewing as many local residents as possible to find out what will meet the needs of people in this food desert,” said Belue.
To learn more about the Butler Snow Foundation’s involvement with the Delta Fresh Foods Initiative please visit our related articles section below.