This #BlackHistoryMonth Repair the World is highlighting Black-led orgs, service partners who are advancing and centering Diversity Equity and Inclusion work and prioritizing BIPOC leadership in their orgs, and Black Community Leaders that we serve with across our communities. Our impact would not be possible without them. Our Jewish values of solidarity, achdoot, and strengthening each other, hitchazkut, remind us that nothing is possible without meaningful relationships. Our partners and colleagues are critical to our ability to understand and act thoughtfully. When we lift up, celebrate, and appreciate others, we ultimately work towards a stronger outcome. We’re so excited to elevate the work of Wholesome Wave Georgia. Repair the World Atlanta is so grateful to partner with them.
By Will Sellers Executive Director at Wholesome Wave Georgia
Wholesome Wave Georgia connects food-insecure families with fresh, healthy, locally grown food and health education through partnerships with local farms, farmers markets, and community partners. Our statewide footprint of over 80 community partners in almost 50 Georgia cities allow us unique insight into the challenges that families face. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our neighbors and do our part to support small, independent farmers. Our flagship program is the Georgia Fresh for Less program, which matches food stamp benefits — also known as SNAP benefits — at farmers markets, farm stands, and more, to help ensure that anyone who wants fresh, healthy, local food can afford it. We also offer SNAP, Medicaid, and other government benefits assistance through free screenings and renewals to our neighbors. Our programs support urban and rural farmers and contribute to our state’s local economy with more than $3.86 million contributed since 2009. Last year, Wholesome Wave Georgia accelerated our efforts to address food access and health disparities using our programs like the Georgia Fresh for Less program and the Georgia Food for Health program. Working with our community partners and our neighbors, we all have a role to play in creating the Georgia and America that we want to live in.
At Wholesome Wave Georgia, our work is important because our work increases access to fresh, healthy, locally grown food for families that are living near or at the margins of society. The need and the demand for fresh, healthy, locally grown food is greater than ever because of the pandemic. In 2020, our nonprofit supported over $187,200 in food nutrition incentives to increase access to fresh, healthy, locally grown food. Last year, in 2021, we supported over $275,200 in food nutrition incentives. By connecting our neighbors in need with fresh, healthy locally grown produce, our programs support the small, independent farmers growing locally grown produce, we benefit the local economy, help the environment, and improve healthcare outcomes within the state of Georgia.
What compels me to do this type of service is a desire to honor my family’s legacy. My grandmother was a school teacher in segregated, rural Georgia educating children in old barns disguised as schools. My grandfather drove a school bus taking “colored children” to these schools with used books, furnished with old desks but brimming with the state-of-the-art belief that tomorrow would be better than today. My work at Wholesome Wave Georgia allows me to be a force for good as I serve while completing my mission: to positively influence everyone that I come into contact with.
Donations to support Wholesome Wave Georgia’s work can be made at: https://www.wholesomewavegeorgia.org/candler-black-market