ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Phoebe and Americus leaders are partnering up to combat food insecurities in Southwest Georgia.
Phoebe is expanding its fresh footprint into the City of Americus.
“Americus City Council just agreed to provide some land in Brookdale Park for Phoebe Sumter there to create that community garden and we’re gonna partner again with Flint River Fresh and model it after the successful project we have here in Albany,” explained Phoebe Putney Health Systems CEO and President Scott Steiner.
Steiner expects the project to be up and running in the next 90 days.
Phoebe also has its hands in Sylvester’s Village Community Garden.
“We’re here to help create more resilient communities,” said Steiner.
According to statistics from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), five of the top six counties with the highest rate of food insecurities in Georgia are right in the Southwest region of the state.
Those counties include Clay, Terrell, Randolph, Calhoun and Dougherty.
According to DPH, there are 25,000 people living in Dougherty County with food insecurities based on the most recent statistics from 2015 from Map The Meal Gap.
DPH officials believe this number has gone up because of the recent closures of grocery stores in the area.
Officials said people who live in food deserts are more likely to be obese, have certain cancers and diabetes.
Farmer Fredo in Dougherty County said we can fight food insecurities starting in our own backyard.
“Growing your own food is an excellent way because of education. So it’s like, if you learn it yourself you’re able to pass it to the next generation, to the next generation and so eventually it just becomes a way of life," said Farmer Fredo.
Farmer Fredo said you can learn more about community gardens and how to create one yourself by clicking here.