Dougherty Fresh is a partnership between Dougherty County, Flint River Fresh and the University of Georgia Extension Service. Dougherty Fresh works to support the initiative in several ways, including: developing a strategic vision for urban agriculture conversation within our community; working with local government and area businesses to ensure continued success and sustainability of this program beyond inception; coordinate an urban agriculture program to complement and expand current community initiatives, such as addressing food deserts, work with local government to secure the food system, and support farmers and local food hub plans; build partnerships with local government, business, farmers, and others; increase access to healthy, local foods in low-income areas; develop a plan to address food deserts; create opportunities to merge existing initiatives into one large-scale, long-term coordinated effort; develop financial opportunities to support long-term viability of the initiative; and secure funds in partnership with this initiative to ensure longevity and impact.
In July of 2020, Dougherty County received a grant as part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, a program funded by the Aetna Foundation, together with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), supporting communities that are changing the way they work together across sectors to reduce disparities in chronic disease outcomes. Dougherty County was only one of 20 teams chosen to participate in the Challenge. The $100,000 grant is affording Dougherty County with the opportunity to take action to change the food access system in Albany and Dougherty County and engage community residents as leaders in their work. In addition to the funding, Dougherty County, Flint River Fresh and UGA Extension Service and their partners will participate in one-on-one technical assistance provided by APHA/NACo and a supportive peer-learning network led by Healthy Places by Design over the course of the two years.
To empower the community to choose fresh produce options through education, availability, collaboration, and training to improve health outcomes.
We believe that everyone one deserves the opportunity to have fresh foods within their community. Through innovation, partnerships and education, we can be a reliable partner to assist with health outcomes in our community for years to come.
Due to COVID-19, we have had to change the way we will do outreach. We will have in-person meetings, where social distancing will be enforced. We will also have a virtual platform available.
Increase availability of fresh foods and nutritionally sound resources for Dougherty County residents
Establish a Food Council for the advancement of nutrition and health in Dougherty County
Create a replicable model for use in other locations.