September 1, 2009
While working on a Baltimore-focused community gardening show for his GardenSMART PBS show, host Joe Lampl’l (aka Joe Gardener) stumbled upon the farmer’s market partnership between the Center for a Livable Future and Knox Presbyterian Church in East Baltimore. Joe spent some time talking about the project with Angela Smith, CLF’s coordinator for the Baltimore Food and Faith Project. Lamp’l wrote about the discovery in his blog, ComPost Confidential.
“It’s about another grass-roots effort taking place on that same block [as the show being filmed], as well as in other neighborhoods across the city. I wouldn’t have known anything about it, except for the four or five fresh vegetable-laden tables and handmade signs lined up on a nearby street corner that quickly caught my eye and drew me in,” writes Lamp’l.
“It was a bit of a strange site. So many fresh vegetables, obviously picked only hours earlier, stacked tall and wide, just waiting for people to buy them at bargain basement prices. But where were all the people? Recreate this scene in a heavily trafficked part of any city, or place them for sale at a farmers market on Saturday morning, and they wouldn’t last the hour. But that was the beauty of this program as I soon learned.
“CLF recently undertook a food assessment of Baltimore and found there were certain areas where people didn’t have much access to healthy, fresh foods,” explained Smith. Often, these neighborhoods were located where poverty rates were high and which had suffered from urban blight for decades. Because the poor are at greater risk for developing diet-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, etc., and are the very people who have the most trouble finding and affording good food, we were particularly interested in finding a way to bring healthy food to them.”
Lamp’l concluded the blog post commending the effort. “I applaud you and every person and organization mentioned here for your genuine desire to make fresh, healthy produce available to all in such a creative and sustainable way. Good things really to come out of a garden, especially when you add the efforts of so many good people!”