The City of Henderson donated a number of vacant lots to GRRO, which has engaged community members of all ages in cleaning up the lots, tilling and planting the land, and creating micro-farms. Participating growers get training on how to grow the best produce, and they are on their way to getting organic certification. Recently, two of the lots were GAP (Good Agricultural Practices)-certified for 23 different crops, which can now be sold to schools, hospitals and other institutional markets.

In addition, GRRO recently launched a Produce Prescription Program in partnership with the Vance-Granville and Warren County Health Departments to provide over 75 “patients” with prescriptions for their healthy, local produce boxes. The success of this pilot and ongoing partnerships led to an invitation from the local hospital to launch an on-site farm and the Apple-A-Day-CSA for hospital employees, which will include double up food bucks for employees on SNAP/EBT benefits.  A new farm-to-childcare effort will further supply over 500 Head Start students with lunch and two healthy snacks weekly.

GRRO’s programs are keeping Henderson’s people and its environment healthy – and helping small farmers start and stay in business.

Our Role

Through our Resourceful Communities program, we provided small grant support for a range of GRRO’s programing, including demonstration “micro-market urban farms” and the Produce Prescription Program. We’ve also provided technical assistance through workshops and one-on-one consultations, supporting stronger project planning/evaluation, marketing, crop planning and consumer/customer outreach. To support Produce Prescriptions, we worked with GRRO to develop new agency partnerships and implement a framework to support healthy eating incentives.

Our partnership with GRRO advances Resourceful Communities’ efforts to target the “food deserts” of North Carolina. Food deserts are areas where people do not have easy access to markets or stores that sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Henderson’s micro-farms increase the region’s food security – a stable and sustainable source of food.

Why This Project Matters

Our Resourceful Communities program works with grassroots organizations to strengthen locally-driven programming in economically- and socially-distressed rural communities. In Henderson, our partnership with GRRO is creating job opportunities, training small-scale farmers to be profitable, and increasing access to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables for low-income consumers.

Learn More

Blog: Micro-Farms Making an Impact in Henderson, NC
News Article: Residents, city, county work together to green Henderson (The Daily Dispatch)
Resourceful Communities’ Initiatives on Food Security