BALTIMORE - A national report of health rankings released this week has Baltimore at the bottom of the pack in our state.
Part of the problem is that more than a third of the city’s neighborhoods are considered food deserts, where people do not have easy access to supermarkets and other healthy food sources.
They’re places like Reservoir Hill, where Whitelock Community Farm , at the corner of Whitelock St. and Brookfield Ave., works to give people access to fresh, healthy food.
“I love it,” said Karen Johnson, who buys produce from the farm. “I mean, the fact that it is fresh vegetables, you know, especially during the summertime. I also like the idea that the kids can come and see where food comes from."
The concept has been so successful that the farm is expanding to a lot across the street.
"We've realized that we really do have a high demand for the food that we're growing here,” said farm manager Alison Worman. “We sell out at our market stand and we also do some work with restaurants in the area and also other farmer's markets. And so, there's definitely a demand for local produce."
One in every five people in the city lives in a food desert, with limited access to supermarkets, transportation and just healthy food in general.
Anne Palmer of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future said the center is working with the city on several innovative initiatives, including fostering the urban agriculture movement. But, it’s going to take a village, and time.
“It is a very difficult issue to solve and it isn't going to be solved by just creating demand for those foods or changing the supply,” Palmer said. “They really have to work together in order to be successful.”
Whitelock Community Farm has several upcoming fundraisers to help fund the expansion:
The farm has partnered with Baltimore's GiveCorps to raise money for its expansion, and there's great local prizes for you too.
or donate by mail and send a check to:
Whitelock Community Farm
922 Whitelock St. Suite 4
Baltimore, MD 21217
FARM BENEFIT CONCERT
The concert is set for Saturday April 5 at Church & Company
3647 Falls Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Doors at 8:30 p.m. $7
All proceeds go toward the farm and its expansion.
Featuring the sounds of:
Fat on Scraps
Living Dog & Carla Padvoiskis
Haint Blue (MD)
Live music, snacks and drinks.
For information on other community farms, visit: http://www.farmalliancebaltimore.org/