Community unites for resources
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Members of our community are looking for a way out of a food desert and into healthy, affordable food resources.
Access to food is a crucial part of any revitalizing neighborhood, Laney Walker, for example. Right now, people have to travel to North Augusta to do their shopping, which is not easy for everyone who lives there.
We’ve broken down what’s being done to lift them out of food desert status. Even with over decades of work on a revitalization plan. Laney Walker is still a food desert.
For many people, dollar stores are the only place to shop.
“So it’s like a grocery store right next door,” said Lashawndra Robinson, chairman of Black Farm Street.
Farmers like Robinson and Dan Scott are making a difference by putting a shovel in the dirt.
“In food deserts, these community gardens help bring people closer to fresh produce and things of that nature, and it’s also healthier,” said Scott, Cultural Ambassador and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Farmer. .
Scott is working on a garden project in Laney Walker, and Robinson is working in the bi-state area with his organization to do the same.
“With the young people, I teach them how to grow their vegetables. I’m also a chef, so I teach them how to cook their vegetables,” she said.
Gardens will allow people to buy fresh vegetables, even with SNAP benefits.
“Anyone can really get into it,” Scott said.
However, the Laney Walker area needs more than just a garden.
Jordan Johnson, Augusta Commission Member for District 1, said, “We’re talking about 25,000 people affected by not having quality groceries to pick up their daily needs.”
The revitalization project will continue this year. There are plans to build more affordable houses. Housing and Community Development say they are still working on bringing in a small grocer as well.
Kroger closed in 2017, leaving the area empty. Not empty of life, no culture, no people, but empty of food.
Those who know how to drive can drive five miles north of Augusta Kroger. Those who can’t just have a dollar store within walking distance.
“I mean, you can’t live in an area if you don’t have access to food and water,” said
In February, the city approved the use of $250,000 remaining Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, Phase Seven, on a Kroger project on Jimmie Dyess Parkway.
Laney Walker is still waiting for there to be.
“We have done more to create housing estates than we have food to feed these people. It’s a bit upside down,” said
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