Bolling said that Kennedy first brought the idea of growing the local food movement as a way to help people and build community.
“That really spoke to me,” Bolling said, “and that’s exactly what we’ve done over the years.”
Through the program, gardeners have also donated over 500,000 pounds of produce to area food pantries. Hunger is still very much a problem in the greater Atlanta region. The demand is nowhere near as high as it was during the height of the pandemic, but leaders of nonprofit food banks say the food lines now are far exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
Bolling said they’ve found that community gardens and farmers markets are strengthening people’s bonds with their neighbors, while also teaching children about where their food comes from.
“Food is a great engagement tool. It’s a great way to know your neighbor, to share things that you love, and to learn from each other,” he said.