Hub for Community Innovation to create more access to fresh fruit and produce for Harrisburg and Laney Walker residents

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AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — The Harrisburg neighborhood is what many call a food desert– options for fresh food and produce are scarce and the nearest grocery store is miles away.

“It really hurt us when they tore down Kroger and we thought they were going to put up a Walmart, but they didn’t and that was very disappointing for our family,” Harrisburg resident Summer Hodges said.

Without a car, Summer Hodges, a mom of six often walks to get food for her family, but many times its frozen or processed food lacking the nutrients fresh fruit and vegetables provide.

” We go to the local Family Dollar, but it would be better if we had a grocery store or fruit market around here,” Hodges said.

Now with ground breaking on the Hub — a multi resource community center in the heart of downtown — Harrisburg residents will soon have fresh fruit and produce in their backyard

“You talk to a lot of residents who they’re only means of transportation are their legs and many of them have diet related diseases. So, you’re looking at food as medicine that needs to be had and now, you’re putting this in their backyard,” Augusta Locally Grown executive director Rebecca Van Loenen said.

While its not a grocery store —

” Its not a grocery store, its a farmers market — but we sell dairy. We have vendors that do eggs honey, fruits and vegetables. You name it,” Van Loenen said.

It will give Harrisburg residents access to fresh food as well as the tools to learn how to make their own food.

” We will have a greenhouse as well as a teaching garden so that we can come in and have classes that teach you how to grow in your backyard. So, again empowerment with knowledge,” Van Loenen said.

For moms like Summer —

” Its gonna be a blessing because that’s the main thing that families need.”

The Hub is expected to open in the Spring of 2022.

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