ATLANTA - Volunteers at Greenleaf Community Farms are working overtime to feed nearby residents who are struggling with unemployment because of the coronavirus.
Many of the families that live near the six farms across Atlanta work in the hospitality industry, and now, more than ever, they are coming together to help each other farm the land to care for their families.
"This is definitely a community inspired mission," said Christa Leonard of Greenleaf Community Farms.
The Eastside Crossing apartment complex is home to one of the farms where residents can grow their own food for free and harvest some peace of mind.
"It means easy access to a resource, it means mental health," said resident Jay Levy.
Because of the coronavirus, this neighborhood resource is busier than ever, handing out free produce and fresh eggs.
"They've just been coming down in droves," said Leonard of the number of residents coming out to farm and to collect fresh food. Volunteers are now working double the hours just to meet the demand of families in need.
"We harvested almost 175 pounds of food, and we had people coming with garbage bags," said Leonard.
Leonard said many residents work in hospitality and have been laid off or furloughed, so these crops help them cut costs, and even for those working, this farm calms anxieties.
"There's a lot of well-needed fear for going to the grocery store, and having this property here does give you peace of mind where you know you can always have food," said resident Djata Barrett.
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Leonard and her team said in addition to more families needing food, they've seen more people lending a gloved hand and coming out to farm while social distancing.
"A lot of people do feel alone right now," said Barrett. "I think this farm is really helpful because it does connect you to others around you," she said.
"Yes we grow food, but our first priority is that we grow community support for each other," said Leonard.
For those who don't live on the grounds but need a little extra help, Leonard said she always makes sure she has something to help.
"We will get food to people no matter what," she said.
For information on how to volunteer, click here.
For information on how to pick up vegetables, click here.
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