The Junior League of Chattanooga’s Seeds of Change is a collaborative effort to eliminate food deserts in Hamilton County. Through a partnership with the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, the YMCA of Greater Chattanooga, and other members of the Hamilton County Food Coalition, JLC will address the issue through advocacy, educational outreach, and the skills, effort and enthusiasm of its trained volunteers.
- Hamilton County Food Coalition
- YMCA of Greater Chattanooga
- Chattanooga Area Food Bank
- University of Tennessee Extension Service
- The Hamilton County government’s STEP ONE program
- Creative Discovery Museum
- Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies
- Gaining Ground
How it works
Through a partnership with the YMCA of Greater Chattanooga, JLC will provide trained volunteers to help man the Mobile Market as it makes its regularly scheduled rounds to communities throughout Hamilton County that lack access to healthy food. While there, JLC members will educate shoppers about the fruits and vegetables offered for sale by providing hands-on activities for children and cooking demonstrations for adults. Through a partnership with the Chattanooga Food Bank, JLC members will help plant gardens in food deserts, educate residents on how to care for the gardens on an ongoing basis and share techniques for cooking and preserving the fruits and vegetables grown. JLC members will support the Chattanooga Area Food Bank’s emergency food programs through donations of healthy food items, which will be collected at monthly general membership meetings, and by volunteering regularly in the Food Bank’s warehouse to sort donations and pack emergency food boxes and snack packs for K-12 students. Educational programs, such as cooking demonstrations and school gardening events, are being planned with several Hamilton County Food Coalition members, including the YMCA of Greater Chattanooga and the Hamilton County government’s STEP ONE program. JLC members will also coordinate a community-wide SNAP Challenge with the Hamilton County Food Coalition, United Way of Greater Chattanooga, and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.
What’s the impact?
Seeds of Change and JLC’s partnership with the Hamilton County Food Coalition will also raise awareness of the healthy food deficit with elected officials and community members who can provide funding and other support to eradicate food deserts in the area.