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Community Gardens Bring Healthy Food to those in Need in Rural Alabama 

Oct 26, 2018

Alabama SNAP-Ed increased access to healthy and affordable food by growing fresh vegetables in the Community Gardens in Rural Alabama pilot program! These fresh vegetables can help to improve the health and nutrition of people living in rural communities who are at higher risk for chronic disease than people living in urban settings.  

garden plot

Program Successes

The program had many successes, including:

  • Reached more than 500 adults and children.
  • Almost 20 different varieties of vegetables were grown.
  • Collard greens were the highest produced vegetable followed by sweet potatoes and peas.
  • More than 2,700 pounds of vegetables were grown.
  • Harvested produce was valued at over $3,700.00.
  • Produce yielded more than 15,000 servings of edible vegetables.
  • Produce went directly to food banks, soup kitchens, schools, healthcare systems serving veterans, and farmers markets.
produce being weighed

Program Summary 

During the fall 2017 growing season, trained program workers at 9 established community gardens in rural Alabama used standardized scales and harvest collection forms to measure:

  • Production capabilities using harvest weight and serving size.
  • Harvest values using average retail prices of produce.
live well alabama

Expanding the program

In order to learn what impact community gardens can have on the population’s health, the program organizers are working to better understand the capabilities and harvest values of rural community gardens.  Therefore, Alabama SNAP-Ed is expanding this pilot program to include more rural community gardens throughout Alabama and to collect information across an entire year.  

Type of Program

Policy, systems and environmental change

Years of Implementation

2017 – Present

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This article was submitted by Alabama Extension at Auburn University SNAP-Ed. For more information please contact Alicia Powers.