Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Green Opportunities (GO) is using HFFI financing to support and start-up capital for three food-related social enterprises: an urban agriculture enterprise, a community kitchen, and a grocery store. GO is also converting a closed elementary school into a community center/workforce training center and incubator. The social enterprises will create at least 34 full-time jobs for mostly low-income people along the French Broad River and improve access to fresh, affordable, and nutritious foods.
Urban Garden: Gardens United, the urban agriculture enterprise, currently includes gardens in Pisgah View and Hillcrest Housing Developments. GO is working with growers to develop organizational structures and a business plan for year-round food production. Food grown will be sold through a variety of outlets and distributed to residents of the community. Additional land will be cultivated at the W.C. Reid Center once renovations are complete.
Community Kitchen: Building on GO’s Kitchen Ready culinary training program, the Community Kitchen prepares healthy meals from fresh, local produce. Sandwiches, wraps and healthy snacks are made from scratch and are affordable to residents living in food deserts.
Grocery Store: The third food-related social enterprise includes a venue for selling and distributing fresh, affordable food. Feasibility studies are currently being conducted with local partners. The store will sell produce from the gardens and meals from the kitchen in addition to a variety of affordable groceries.
- Address food insecurity by improving access to fresh, affordable, nutritious foods in Asheville’s food deserts
- Empower low-income individuals to participate in community food security efforts
- At least 34 full-time jobs created, for mostly low-income people
Source of money: HFFI CED Program; Fiscal year(s): 2012