An Augusta-area resident who has taken on the challenge of bringing healthy food choices to his historically impoverished community plans to take his findings to a special state Senate committee investigating food deserts and food insecurity.
Javon Armstrong lives in Sand Hills, a historic African American neighborhood in west Augusta, also known as Elizabethtown, adjacent to the National Register-listed Summerville Historic District.
Earlier this week, the Senate Study Committee on Improving Access to Healthy Foods and Ending Food Deserts was told by numerous experts that Georgia has one of the highest densities of so-called food deserts - geographical areas where healthy food is inaccessible or expensive - in the nation.
“We are the standard food desert with little access to healthy choices,” Armstrong said. “To quote 18th-century French lawyer and politician Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, ‘tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are,’ which doesn’t say much about you when your diet consists of chips, soda, and lo mein.”
Armstrong is hoping to tackle the issue of food insecurity by developing tower gardens, which he has already planted in his front yard. Armstrong describes tower gardens as a soil-free growing system that can save up to 98% more water than a traditional garden.
“They’re also vertical, which means you need only 10% of the space to grow,” he said.
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