Community gardens in Atlanta are transforming how we eat, grow and live in our community by providing access to locally grown food, enhancing food security and serving as a community gathering space in the natural environment.

Since its beginnings, Food Well Alliance has been committed to listening to and learning from community gardeners, and just how important their role is in building healthier communities.

One of the ways we have done this is through the Community and Educational Working Table, which we facilitated in 2015, bringing together leaders of community gardens. During the convening, leaders shared the need for leadership skills to mobilize community members in order to improve the self reliance of gardens and to create shared resources. They also shared the need for funding for infrastructure improvements like installing a water irrigation system or building a tool shed.

In response to those needs, we launched Leaders Growing Community Gardens, a unique collaborative design initiative to addresses these common challenges. The initiative was led by eight local food organizations and provided a series of two-day workshops in Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb, Clayton and Gwinnett counties focused on increasing leadership development.

Food Well Alliance also announced the Community Garden Grant as an additional resource for community gardens that are increasing neighborhood vitality by growing food. The first Community Garden Grant was launched on January 15, 2015 specifically for community and educational gardens, to support infrastructure projects up to $2,500. The response from the gardens was inspiring. That year, we awarded a total of $25,000 to 12 community and education gardens that are making great impacts to build healthier communities across Metro Atlanta.

In 2017, Food Well Alliance launched the second Community Garden Grant, and awarded a total of $75,000 to support 50 neighborhood leaders across five counties and the long-term sustainability of their community gardens. Each grant recipient received $1,500 to complete infrastructure or improvement projects for their gardens as they prepare for the Spring growing season.

Food Well Alliance is committed to supporting Atlanta’s community gardens so they can thrive and continue building healthier communities for us all. Stay in touch with FWA so we can learn about your garden.