During the Economic Development Local Food Forum, we heard the incredible stories of two local food leaders and a community partner and leader who are all working to boost economic development in Atlanta through locally-grown food.
As we delved deeper into how economic development opportunities can help to strengthen the work of our urban farmers, Jasaan "Lovey" Gilliam, Co-Founder and Farmer at Gilliam's Community Garden, Zac Harrison, Co-Founder of Fresh Harvest, and David Jackson, Deputy Executive Director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, discussed the benefits of collaborating with local food partners.
It was an honor to hear each panelist share how collaboration has been key to building numerous opportunities to expand their work. In addition, we learned:
- From partnerships with Atlanta Public Schools to thoughtfully engaging with customers and the local community, Gilliam's Community Garden has a strong understanding of their community and how community members are crucial to the continuation of their growth and success.
- Zac explained Fresh Harvest's commitment to local food through highlighting how rich partnerships with Georgia farmers have allowed the company to keep produce grown in Georgia local and available to Georgia residents. He also shared how the company's investment in Clarkston, GA has given them the opportunity to employ refugees in the community by providing them with healthy, living wages and opportunities to grow food at the Fresh Harvest Garden.
- David Jackson, Deputy Executive Director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, discussed how the Atlanta BeltLine aims to connect residents surrounding the BeltLine to healthier, local food options through partnerships with urban farms and farmers markets.
We thank you for your attendance, your committed work and your interest in economic development and local food, and look forward to sharing additional learnings and takeaways from this forum with you soon.
On behalf of Food Well Alliance, we would also like to thank our community partners, without whom this forum would not have been possible!
At Food Well Alliance, local food is at the center of what we do, and we believe local food is key to building a livable, resilient Metro Atlanta that grows, shares and enjoys fresh, locally grown food.
We look forward to continuing this work with you to help build a sustainable, local food system. Stay up to date on our upcoming 2018 Local Food Forums by visiting foodwellalliance.org, and please consider joining as an Alliance member today!