Mississippi is home to nearly 3 million people, including approximately 650,000 men, women, and children who lack consistent access to the kinds of food required to live a healthy, active lifestyle. In Hinds County, more than 1 in 4 residents fall into this group, which is defined as being food insecure. With grocery stores in rural and low income communities closing their doors at an alarming rate, fresh foods are becoming increasingly difficult to acquire in these areas. The absence of stores providing fresh foods has contributed to Mississippi being left with generations of citizens who are largely reliant on highly processed, nutrient deficient foods.
Sow Reap Feed was formed in an effort to address these challenges of hunger and food insecurity head on. In the model we have developed, community focused micro-farms fill the voids left by shuttered grocery stores. Each of these micro-farms will be a production site for premium quality mixed produce while serving as a platform to teach people how to get food from the soil to their dinner tables. Of the produce harvested from these micro-farms, a minimum of 50% is donated to people in need, giving priority to individuals and families living in the micro-farm community before sending food to other charitable agencies. A maximum of 50% of the harvest is allocated for sale via farmers markets, restaurants, weekly subscriptions, and farm stands to help sustain the operation of the organization. As a component of our next phase of growth, we are pursuing a multi-acre urban farm site, which will allow us to greatly increase our production capacity and, consequently, our ability to provide fresh, healthy food for our neighbors in need.