Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Announcing the Global Growers Network of Georgia

Refugee Family Services announces the


Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program will support food and agriculture projects in Metro-Atlanta’s refugee community

(Stone Mountain, GA) – In 2011, Refugee Family Services will lead the creation of the Global Growers Network of Georgia. The Global Growers Network will provide linkages and support for existing urban agriculture and community garden projects that involve refugee newcomers to DeKalb County. It will also support the development of refugee leadership for new growing projects in the refugee community, as well as link garden and farm projects with volunteer support, growing expertise, job/business training, and community resources. The Network also supports the development of a Clarkston Farmers’ Market so that food producers and growers will have a place to sell their food, and so that more people will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables familiar to their cultures. Our goals in the refugee community include: increased incomes; access to quality and familiar food; better physical and mental health; independence; and community integration.

The Global Growers Network will also work with key food systems stakeholders such as the DeKalb County Board of Health and the Atlanta Local Food Initiative to strengthen urban agriculture, increase access to healthy foods, and work towards the prevention of chronic disease through active living.

The Network will:

  • Meet with refugee and mainstream project leaders to develop Network plans and strategies.
  • Support the development of a local farmers’ market and ensure refugee participation in the market, a project led by the Clarkston Community Center.
  • Identify and secure land for growing space.
  • Establish a “Garden Center” to support growing needs.
  • Support Network projects with education and training.
  • Host workshops to exchange knowledge and information about growing and selling.
  • Support the development of refugee project leaders.
  • Coordinate volunteers to assist project needs.

Our Community Farm Project is extremely excited to be a part of the Network. OCFP played a key role in the development of the Network, and we were able to leverage the success of this project in order to expand our work in the refugee community. Robin Chanin, the coordinator of Our Community Farm Project, is moving on to lead the creation of the Network, which will allow her to continue to play an active role at the farm as well as in supporting other food projects. Please contact Robin for additional information.