Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. recently announced it has awarded $200,000 to be shared among partners Forsyth Farmers’ Market, All Walks of Life (AWOL) and Savannah Food Cooperative, and Growing Edge Community Collaboration for Green Groceries, a 14-agency nonprofit cooperative. The grant money, part of the company’s “Live Well; Be Well” program, will be used by local nonprofits to address areas in the Coastal Empire that lack access to healthy, affordable food.
“We challenged nonprofits in the Savannah area to get creative about how to get healthy food into the hands and homes of people who don’t have easy access to it. This grant is specifically designed to help our Savannah neighbors who live in areas where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain,” said Jason Aiken, senior vice president, Gulfstream. “We offered $200,000 in grants and encouraged the nonprofits to be collaborative in their approach. The creativity and resourcefulness of their suggestions for making healthy eating accessible, affordable and sustainable is really impressive.”
Growing Edge Community Collaboration for Green Groceries, a partnership between the West Broad Street YMCA and 13 additional agencies, will establish a healthy food resource center on the west side of Savannah. They intend to develop the garden at the YMCA for year-round production, build a greenhouse, expand their kitchen and create a job training program for food production and nutrition education training.
“Those we serve are often at risk for health problems, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes,” said Peter Doliber, executive director and CEO of the West Broad Street YMCA. “These funds from Gulfstream allow a collaboration of many partners to produce healthy foods on-site, bring them to the community at their doorstep, teach people how to use them, all while creating opportunities for people to gain work experience.”
With its portion of the grant money, Forsyth Farmers’ Market, AWOL and Savannah Food Cooperative will establish a mobile market by retrofitting a vehicle that can transform into a produce stand and make regular, scheduled stops in neighborhoods that need fresh produce.
“While our Forsyth Park location has been successful in providing a welcoming place for all to access healthy food, we have long dreamed of taking that Forsyth Farmers’ Market experience straight to the neighborhoods with the least access,” said Teri Schell, co-founder and coordinator, Forsyth Farmers’ Market. More information about the company is available at www.generaldynamics.com.