As part of this commitment, we are focused on supporting a local food ecosystem that reflects the diverse values, cultures and communities within the Fairfield neighborhoods and the surrounding neighborhoods of Eastern Huntington, Guyandotte and Altizer.
The Community Food Initiatve is a collaboration between a number of community organizations and UFI to develop a successful ‘neighborfood’ system that supports growing food through resilient, regenerative urban permiculture practices within Fairfield and surrounding neighborhoods in Huntington, West Virginia.
Young Chapel AME Church
Carter G. Woodson Foundation
Emma’s Garden – The Garret Family
UFI Regenerative Agriculture Apprentiship Program.
Additional support has been received from:
Sustainability Department, Marshall University.
In Eastern Huntington, many community members lack access to a grocery store that provides healthy food options, especially those grown and produced locally. Many residents live in areas that meet the USDA designation of a food desert (reflecting residents with low income, low food access and/or low vehicle access). Huntington is located in Cabell County WV, which is designated as a “persistent poverty county” by the USDA. The neighborhoods within our target area are diverse, with a significant number of residents living below the federal poverty line, many of whom are African American.
There is a critical need to decrease food insecurity in our community by increasing access to healthy, locally grown food. Food insecurity creates an environment of chronic hunger, nutrient-poor diets, and negative socio-economic conditions that prevent job readiness and attainment for community members. As a result, the long-term goal of this initiative is to increase access to local food as a means to improve readiness for workforce and entrepreneurship training. Resolving food insecurity is a vital aspect of building community wealth, especially in disadvantaged and marginalized communities which is central to UFI’s mission.
This project will develop and support neighborfood systems and works toward increasing food production through an ecosystem of gardens, walkable food access points for distribution. UFI will train local farmers and gardeners interested in growing food using regenerative urban agriculture; provide technical support for creating and sustaining local pop-up markets for food distribution; and provide entrepreneurship training for local food retail (groceries, restaurants, food trucks, local business) that distribute or utilize locally grown foods. A key component of this initiative is the identification of existing local food resources in the community. UFI, through our Community Mapping Project, is identifying current urban agriculture and gardening resources as key stakeholders in the urban agricultural ecosystem in the area.
For more details about the Project
Sara Loftus, Program Director
We need your support to provide resources and training to community members!
Please help us meet our next milestone: raising the budget to create new garden beds, order soil and tools, and pay for local artists to bring public art in to the gardens.
Huntington is on the horizon of cultural, and economic transformation. We’re excited about being a part of this journey.
Our Garden Network contacts:
Teresa Crisp, Garden coordinator & Artist-in-Residence.