Staff Reports

Pure Farmland recognized The Center for Children and Young Adults (CCYA) in Marietta and its positive impact in the community through a recent check donation of $1,000. The endowment is part of the 2020 Pure Growth Project, an initiative launched by Pure Farmland earlier this year to ensure community gardens and farms continue to thrive, and to help increase the availability of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables nationwide. CCYA was selected as a 2020 grant recipient to support its commitment to providing nourishment and a safe place for homeless youth to live, thrive, and heal, which is needed now more than ever during this critical moment in time.

After receiving 167 applications from community gardens and farms across 31 states, 50 organizations were carefully selected to receive grants, totaling $100,000 in financial support, to nurture these unique neighborhood spaces.

On its nearly 5-acre campus, CCYA houses a flourishing farm-to-table garden that is “blooming with possibilities.” The garden is the non-profit’s source of over 2,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for hundreds of youth residents, low-income staff and their families, churches, construction workers, and neighborhood and civic groups. Youth housed on-site can apprentice in the garden and use the fruits and vegetables in cooking classes or to enjoy in meals. In addition, CCYA hosts a farmer’s market stand to bring more fresh produce to its community, which is currently considered a food desert.

Pure Farmland is celebrating the organization’s exemplary stewardship and the impact its hard work has on the neighborhood. The award of $1,000 will be used to complete the campus garden plans for the year – including the purchase of enhanced soil bags to fill cinder blocks that line garden rows and inhibit weeds, and for seeds and plants to companion every row. During these uncertain times, CCYA is expanding its production to enhance access to healthy, nutrient dense food, and allowing the specialization of food production for kids.

“Big thanks to the Pure Growth Project grant program for allowing CCYA, in close partnership with the Cobb Master Gardeners, to complete optimal growth plans for the year,” said Maureen Lok, legacy board member and Cobb Master Gardener for CCYA. “A therapeutic opportunity is presented through this milieu for youth as it provides a foundation for vocational and life skills training through garden apprenticeships. Equally an oasis of tranquility and beauty, its effect is palpable, as youth, staff, neighbors, and visitors alike feel compelled to comment on its aesthetic appeal.”

“At Pure Farmland, we’re dedicated to increasing access to fresh, locally grown produce nationwide. Which is why we’re thrilled to join forces with the hard-working individuals at CCYA as part of the Pure Growth Project, to help further their mission and strengthen the local Marietta community,” said Erin Thacker, MA, RDN, brand manager for Pure Farmland. “It is important now more than ever to support local neighborhoods and encourage the next generation to grow sustainably sourced produce.”

For more information, please visit Pure Farmland is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

Photography courtesy to Marietta Talks. 

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