NEW ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO LOCAL FOOD AND COMMUNITY WELLNESS LAUNCHES IN ALBANY

Albany, Georgia – Community leaders in Albany are coming together to support a new organization. Flint River Fresh, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Albany with the goal of enhancing urban agriculture, community wellness, conservation education, and economic development.

“Our goal is to support people from diverse backgrounds and provide the necessary tools for them to make a difference in the communities where they live, by providing access to safe, healthy, locally-grown and affordable food for people throughout the Flint River Region in Southwest Georgia,” said Flint River Fresh Executive Director Fredando “Farmer Fredo” Jackson. “We will accomplish this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground active demonstrations, outreach and technical assistance with the goal of developing Mini-Community Food Centers that support and boost the local economy in Albany.”

The vision for this new organization is to transform the way people see their neighborhoods by becoming stewards of the land and improving their quality of life by having access to fresh food. Flint River Fresh will develop simple, accessible, and effective methods that can be duplicated in other communities to engage citizens to become agents of change through agriculture.

The Flint River Fresh Board of Directors includes representatives from the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District (Marty McLendon, who will serve as Chairman), Dougherty County Commission (Gloria Gaines), Albany Area Chamber of Commerce (Barbara Rivera Holmes), Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (Justin Strickland), and two at-large community members (Julie McLendon and Stewart Campbell). The intent is for the board and partners to grow.

“Agriculture is the state of Georgia’s top industry,” said Flint River Fresh Chairman Marty McLendon. “It is critical that we adopt new partners and opportunities to reach people beyond rural agricultural communities. Working with Albany’s leadership, this program has the potential to be a tremendous asset for southwest Georgia and a model for other communities throughout the state.”

Flint River Fresh was recently awarded a $2,500 grant through the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, funded by Monsanto. These funds will assist Flint River Fresh in building a new school garden in the Southwest Georgia area to provide a hands-on opportunity for students to learn about agriculture and conservation.

Flint River Fresh grew from a partnership established by the agencies represented on the Board of Directors as well as other community stakeholders, originally beginning as an urban agriculture conservation program administered by the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District.

For more information on Flint River Fresh, visit flintriverfresh.org.

 Photo:  Flint River Fresh Executive Director, Fredando "Farmer Fredo" Jackson, planting strawberries with students from Radium Springs Elementary in their teaching garden. (Todd Stone Photography)

Photo:  Flint River Fresh Executive Director, Fredando "Farmer Fredo" Jackson, planting strawberries with students from Radium Springs Elementary in their teaching garden. (Todd Stone Photography)

Fredando Jackson