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Local nonprofit helps community grow food

Using a trickle-down method for self-sufficiency
Posted at 6:16 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 18:16:56-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The CLEO Institute is working to empower women by helping them and other community leaders grow their own food. Promise Land Urban Farm on Orange Avenue is where the lesson will begin to create a more sustainable Tallahassee.

The CLEO Institute's Program Manager, Karolyn Burns, hopes this knowledge will then be spread to the rest of the community.

She said this upcoming event is more than just learning about how to successfully grow food but to learn how to advocate.

Burns noted that this is an important session for people and “if they want to go to a commissioner meeting and talk about the fact that perhaps they are living in a food desert, now they have the vocabulary to tell people this is the problem, this is the scale of the problem, and this is what we want in order to fix it.” She added "we don't just want to train the 11 women [event participants] we have right now we want them to go forward and to take these ideas and talk to their friends and neighbors."

Dr. Darice E. Richard is taking part in the upcoming gardening workshop so she can pass on what she learns to her neighborhood.

She's a philanthropist involved with several community groups. And, saw that people were losing their jobs because of the pandemic, which forced them to go to food pantries for the first time.

While she was working on a program to teach kids about healthy eating, she met one that got creative. Dr. Richard tells us about her and how this is the inspiration behind being part of this gardening event.

Dr. Richard said "...one of the children... was like Dr. Richard I've got something to tell you, and I said well what is it, and she said my mom lost her job during early COVID but my dad just got laid off and I was able to re-create some of the meals with some of the food pantry items... she used black beans it was just so heartfelt because I'm thinking here's a middle-schooler who's trying to feed her family."

The gardening workshop events will happen on two Saturdays this month. The CLEO Institute plans to do more things like this for the Capital City in the future.