Concrete Jungle finds ways to reduce food insecurity and food waste

Concrete Jungle relies on volunteers for its programs to function, allowing it to CJ focus on reducing food insecurity, poor health outcomes racial disparities and food waste in Georgia communities. In 2020, Concrete Jungle recovered and distributed more produce in 2020 than it had collectively distributed in the 10 years prior. Courtesy of Concrete Jungle
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Concrete Jungle relies on volunteers for its programs to function, allowing it to CJ focus on reducing food insecurity, poor health outcomes racial disparities and food waste in Georgia communities. In 2020, Concrete Jungle recovered and distributed more produce in 2020 than it had collectively distributed in the 10 years prior. Courtesy of Concrete Jungle

Credit: Concrete Jungle

Credit: Concrete Jungle

In 2020, Concrete Jungle recovered and distributed more produce in 2020 than it had collectively distributed in the 10 years prior. CJ focuses on reducing food insecurity, poor health outcomes, racial disparities and food waste in Georgia communities.

“Concrete Jungle envisions a future where everyone has reliable access to fresh, healthy, culturally appropriate food,” said Nichole Fields-Kyle, the director of program and operations at CJ.

CJ’s operations include a small farm in southwest Atlanta, a gleaning program on Georgia farms, nutrition education resources and a satellite branch in Athens.

Over the past 12 years, CJ has donated more than 1.4 million pounds of recovered food, relying on thousands of volunteers to make this happen. When the coronavirus pandemic began to affect Atlantans in 2020, CJ saw the need for its services increase, and the Grocery Delivery Program was born.

“Concrete Jungle has always been committed to filling the gaps to help our neighbors in need access fresh healthy produce. The COVID pandemic has provided new opportunities for us to do this,” said Fields-Kyle. “By June 2020 GDP was serving over 400 households on a weekly basis.”

The CJ team knew that their client base was likely to be at high risk for coronavirus infections, and the Grocery Delivery Program allowed them to assist folks who were struggling without putting them at higher risk.

“Food insecure individuals are two to three times more likely to have diet-related chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, thus increasing the likelihood of complications for COVID-19,” said Field-Kyle.

CJ’s programs contribute to decreasing the food insecurity, nutrition education, increasing the physical and mental health of food-insecure Atlantans, particularly in communities of color, and reducing the environmental burden of food waste.


Who’s helping?

Concrete Jungle

Services: Concrete Jungle’s operations include a small farm in southwest Atlanta, a gleaning program on Georgia farms, nutrition education resources and a satellite branch in Athens.

How to help: Check out upcoming volunteer events at concrete-jungle.org/volunteer or email info@concrete-jungle.org to learn more about behind the scenes or group volunteer opportunities.

Where to donate: Visit www.concrete-jungle.org/donate

How to get help: If organizations would like to receive produce donations or purchase from the Produce Buyers Club, they can email info@concrete-jungle.org.

If you are involved in or know of an organization working to bring relief to the Atlanta community during the coronavirus pandemic OR you are with an organization with supplies that you don’t know where to donate, please email us at Shannon.n.Dominy@gmail.com.