Did you know that 64,120 people are Food Insecure, and
our Child Food Insecurity rate is 21.6% in EBR parish?
How is this Ok? To address this issue at a system level in 2018, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and her team at HealthyBR launched a $3,000,000 initiative with the BCBS Foundation and Humana Foundation to create Geaux Get Healthy. One of the fruits of this historic collaboration was establishing the Baton Roots Community Farm. Baton Roots provides access and opportunity for the community to learn best practices in sustainable agriculture on a 4-acre urban farm oasis at BREC Howell Park right in the heart of the 70805.
Produce grown and harvested and the programs at the farm are part of a larger fresh food access movement along the Winbourne Avenue corridor. The farm is flanked with two nationally award-winning aquaponics programs at Brookstown Middle and Istrouma High School in partnership with We Produce Grads. Additionally, Walls has launched intergenerational agri-tech training programs at the newly renovated BRCC campus on the corner of Winbourne & N. Acadian.
Add in the community gardens at Hope Ministries, the forthcoming food Incubator in North BR, and our Baton Roots satellite school farm sites at Glen Oaks High, Scotlandville Magnet, and Capitol High which are planted and managed by our 'Hustle & Grow' youth program participants, we can grow food for the people who need it most. From seed to mouth, the Walls is working TOGETHER with our partners to achieve collective impact and improving long-term health outcomes in North Baton Rouge and across the entire Capital Region.
Huge thanks to our farm and agriculture partners at Southern Ag, LSU Ag, BR Green, Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, 4-H Louisiana, BREC, and the extraordinary philanthropic support from our local donors, foundations, and corporate partners for helping support Baton Roots!
If you would like to get involved in the work we encourage you to visit the farm on Saturdays from 10 AM - Noon for a hands-on workshop, and join the Food Insecurity Coalition (EBR) facilitated by the Capital Area United Way. Together, we will sow the seeds of change in our community.