The Bethlehem Center opened the Alton Park CommUNITY Urban Farm, which will soon be accompanied by a market starting on Thursday, July 25. The farm is at the Bethlehem Center at 200 W. 38th Street and the market will be held there and throughout the South Chattanooga community on alternating Tuesdays and Saturdays.
The mission of the Alton Park CommUNITY Urban Farm is to create a sustainable urban farm that empowers the community through health education, food access, and economic empowerment. The garden contains 700 square feet of raised beds, a compost pile, and a bright blue tool shed to match the Beth Center’s logo. The garden is currently growing tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, squash, okra, strawberries, and watermelon.
“The Alton Park CommUNITY Urban Farm & Market are beautiful opportunities for us to address food access, security, and economic empowerment in our community,” said Gloria Dubose, director of Community Outreach at the Bethlehem Center. “We are bringing locally grown fruits and vegetables, affordable pantry items, and great partners together to create a safe gathering place for Southside residents to shop.”
The mission of the Alton Park CommUNITY Market is to make fresh produce available to the community at a reasonable cost. The vision is to create a community gathering space around food. The outdoor market will follow CDC Coronavirus guidelines, requiring shoppers to social distance and wear a mask. The market is working to accept EBT by the end of the month and currently accepts cash. Thanks to UnitedHealthCare, the Alton Park CommUNITY Market also has a one-to-one matching program that provides $1 of free produce for every dollar spent using EBT. The market will also feature other vendors including Crabtree Farms and Kids of Growth.
For more information about the market and weekly announcements, visit: www.thebeth.org or the Alton Park CommUNITY Urban Farm & Market Facebook or Instagram page.
Officials said, "Special thanks to UnitedHealthCare, R & D Financial Coaching, Crabtree Farms, La Paz Chattanooga, Westside Missionary Baptist Church, Step One Garden grant, Metro Atlanta Urban Farm, and the Whole Kids Foundation for helping us make this opening possible."