• By Katelyn Johnson
  • Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Healthy Communities Garden Closes Out Season With 173 Pounds of Produce Grown and Donated

Healthy Communities received certification for six Healthy Corner Stores in 2023. These corner stores are located within a food desert of Forsyth County, accept SNAP/WIC, and are under 3,000 sq ft. The stores offer an abundance of healthy items including whole grains, fruit, vegetables, low-fat milk, and more.

The Take What You Need (Toma Lo Que Necesite) Program began in July 2023. This program connects the previously mentioned Healthy Corner Stores with fresh produce from a local community garden. The partnered garden of 2023 was Simon’s Green Acre at the Enterprise Center located at 1922 S Martin Luther King Jr Drive. Healthy Communities Coordinator Katie Johnson and BeHealthy School Kids Coordinator Alex Gillis worked together to plant, maintain, and harvest nearly 175 lbs of vegetables. These vegetables were donated to the stores at no cost. The vegetables are then dispersed to customers free-of-charge. A large variety of vegetables were grown in 2023 including carrots, radishes, lettuce, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers.

The donation of this free produce to stores within food deserts in Winston-Salem allows residents to have increased access to fresh, nutritious food. Residents don't have to worry about wasting their money on a new vegetable they may or may not like, which often deters them from trying something new. Storeowners have decided to help with this mission by moving some of their own excess produce into the free basket as well. Katie and Alex hope that this initiative will increase healthy habits of Forsyth County food desert residents and reduce the burden of chronic disease. If you are interested in volunteering in the community garden this coming Spring or you are a storeowner interested in the program, please email Katie at johnsoky@forsyth.cc.

See a full map overview of available Healthy Corner Stores in NC.

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