Blue Cross Blue Shield and Johnson C. Smith University team up to eliminate food desert

A new investment will allow an urban garden to grow fruits and vegetables for the surrounding community.

johnson c smith university

Photograph: Shutterstock

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) is investing $325,000 in Johnson C. Smith University's Sustainability Village in Charlotte, N.C., to build three buildings that will grow fruits and vegetables for the surrounding community. The food will be sold to neighbors at reasonable prices, according to an article on WBTV.com.

The project, established in what locals consider a food desert, will help provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables the area is currently lacking.

"The closest grocery store to many of those persons is between 5 and 10 miles [away]," Mike Restaino, director of community relations for BCBSNC, told the news station. "So going to a grocery store isn't a convenient thing, particularly if they have to rely on transportation."

The Sustainability Village was developed in 2013 to address food access in the area. This latest investment is intended to help positively impact health in the community and reduce the cost of healthcare in general.

University students will manage the greenhouses and also be responsible for community outreach to promote the importance of nutrition.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, there will be room for an aquaponics facility where fish will eventually be raised.

The greenhouses are on track to be completed in approximately nine months, and the first harvest is expected in spring 2019.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
low sodium foodservice

From Furmano's.

Although salt often gets a bad reputation in the health and nutrition industry, a small amount of the nutrient is necessary for proper body functioning. It’s an essential mineral the body uses to control blood pressure, help muscles and nerves work properly and balance fluids. However, it’s important for consumers to watch sodium intake, because some studies have shown that it may increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

One group of people who are at high risk for too much sodium intake are elderly consumers, as the...

Industry News & Opinion

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is serving free meals to students in North Carolina who were affected by Hurricane Florence.

Students in the disaster area will be able to receive the free meals through Oct. 26. The government says that the meals will potentially benefit 31 districts and more than 284,000 students.

School districts will be able to serve meals that do not follow meal pattern requirements or meal planning through Oct. 19 in order to help administer the meals as effectively as possible.

“During a storm like this, the state may face...

Managing Your Business
school supplies

Students at School District 27J in Brighton, Colo., and Pueblo City Schools in Pueblo, Colo., returned to a shorter school year this fall . Both districts have switched to a four-day school week in an attempt to cut costs and help attract and retain teachers.

While the switch could have a positive outcome for the districts, the nutrition teams are facing challenges such as staffing , a potentially off-kilter commodities supply and concern over how to provide food to students on the extra day.

Open communication

On Monday when school is not in session, School District 27J...

Industry News & Opinion

More than 200 schools in Colorado participated in Colorado Proud School Meal Day, Alamosa News reports.

The day is meant to highlight Colorado agriculture as well as educate students on healthy eating.

At Mountain Valley School in Saguache, Colo., staff served tomatillos, collard greens, purple potatoes, beans, squash and pickled beets, while students at North Conejos School District in La Jara, Colo., enjoyed Colorado peaches.

In Sanford, Colo., students at Sanford Schools got to try local potatoes and were able to vote on if they liked them or not. A map of...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code