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Food For Thought - Food Deserts

By Madera E. Rogers-Henry

Food For Thought: Addressing Food Deserts in New Orleans and Promoting Community Gardening Part 1

The Recycle Challenge, Lower 9th Ward Integrated Art Center of Culture (IACOC) and Welcome Home Farm is proud to present the "Food For Thought" series, a transformative program focused on tackling the issue of food deserts in New Orleans and promoting the benefits of community gardening. This series aims to educate and inspire individuals, neighborhoods, and businesses to embrace gardening as a means to improve food access and foster sustainability. As a facilitator Madera E. Rogers-Henry serves to connect infofrmation to resources.

Understanding Food Deserts:

Food deserts are areas where residents have limited access to affordable and nutritious food. In New Orleans, many communities struggle with this issue, leading to poor dietary choices and adverse health outcomes. The "Food For Thought" series seeks to address these challenges by encouraging local food production through community gardening.

Video 2 minutes and17 seconds to watch.

Gardening for Food Security:

Discover how community gardens can play a crucial role in providing fresh, nutritious food to areas affected by food deserts.

Learn about successful local and national models of community gardening initiatives and how they have improved food access.

Engaging the Community:

Introducing & Understanding Black Farming Cooperatives

Historical Context:

Black farming cooperatives have deep roots in American history, particularly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Faced with systemic racism, economic exploitation, and social marginalization, Black farmers organized cooperatives to pool resources, share knowledge, and support one another in a hostile environment.

Modern Black Farming Cooperatives:

Today, Black farming cooperatives continue to play a vital role in promoting food sovereignty, economic independence, and social justice. Organizations like the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the National Black Farmers Association provide resources, advocacy, and support to Black farmers across the United States.

Case Study:

A notable example is the New Communities Land Trust in Georgia, one of the first Black-owned land trusts in the United States. Founded in the 1960s, it has been a model for sustainable farming and land ownership, demonstrating the enduring power and potential of Black farming cooperatives. Other influences as Tuskegee University has assisted in being a training ground for sustainable to coopertative farming.

Get Involved:

  • Learn: Attend workshops and educational events hosted by IACOC and other local organizations to deepen your understanding of Black farming cooperatives.

  • Support: Purchase products from Black farmers and cooperatives, and advocate for policies that support their efforts.

  • Collaborate: Partner with local Black farming cooperatives on community projects, sustainability initiatives, and educational programs.

By understanding and supporting Black farming cooperatives, we can contribute to a more equitable and sustainable food system, honoring the legacy and continuing the work of generations of Black farmers. Join us in the "Food For Thought" series to learn more and get involved in this vital movement.


In the next blog we will address ways to involve strategies for involving your community in gardening projects, fostering collaboration, considering cooperatives and creating a shared sense of purpose.

The "Food For Thought" series is more than just an educational initiative; it's a call to action for individuals, neighborhoods, and businesses to take part in the fight against food deserts. By learning from local, regional to international farmers, to gardeners along with experts, we can contribute to creating a healthier, more sustainable community for Many in Black, Indigenous and People of Color.

See below listings of Louisiana black owned farmers associations along with a short list of New Orleans community gardens.


National Black Growers Council (NBGC)

SPROUTS Black Lives Matter Louisanna and other states with black farmers.

Special thanks to Justin James who assisted in providing an uppdated list of New Orleans Community Gardens

7th Ward

1. Earthseed

8th Ward

1. Woven Roots

9th Ward

1. 24 Carrot

2. Back Yard Garner's Network

3. Baby Food


Miss Gloriia's Garden

 Together, we can cultivate a future where everyone has access to fresh, nutritious food right in their own neighborhoods. Let's grow together!

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