Rossville Boulevard facing “food desert”

Local agencies hosting virtual workshops to address it

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – “I’m exactly two miles from three different food cities. So I’m equal distance to all of them but that’s my closest food source.”

Jazmine LeBlac lives along Rossville Boulevard – which has now come to be known as a food desert.

But through her work with Crabtree Farms, she’s hoping to come up with solutions.

“The farm is a great example of how we’re able to grow foods, sell foods, and create an ecosystem around there and since its an asset we already had in our community, we thought it’d be a great starting point,” says LeBlanc.

Jazmine is referring to a set of virtual workshops coming in late September where the public can brainstorm solutions.

It’s a collaborative effort with other local agencies such as the BLVD.

“At this point we haven’t had a comprehensive plan to help us look at how we can increase availability to local foods for our residents and all the things that come with that,” says Heather Herweyer, Executive Director of the BLVD Project.

Topics covered will be wide-ranging.

“We also might look at sidewalks and walking routes to places, lighting, issues of safety. Kind of looking at the whole picture to see how we can improve access to healthy local foods to people who live here,” LeBlanc says.

Crabtree Farms is just one of the many local players that hope’s to contribute to those virtual workshops by offering fresh, local options for the communities on Rossville Blvd suffering from the food desert.

“We just really want to get that dialogue going and figure out how we can target food as what drives our community forward.”

To register for the virtual workshops, you can visit their website here. 

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