"We did identify in the planing process that food insecurity was something that we absolutely wanted to tackle, particularly in urban environments where you've got a concentration of poverty that live in the areas where there's no access to healthy foods," said John Zeneah, Administrator with the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability.
The food landscape map puts the locations of community gardens and urban farms in context by overlaying data about food deserts and other census information. The map is crowd-sourced, so communities can contribute their own homegrown projects.
The FAC also worked with Hyphen Market Solutions
to work with focus groups and identify the policy barriers that prevent the expansion of urban agriculture in the Memphis area.
The pair identified three public policy areas that FAC plans to work on over the next year: land, water and soil quality. The Shelby County Land Bank
is an excellent resource for those seeking ownership of low-cost land, but access remains limited and the process lengthy. Through working with the Shelby County government and MLGW, the FAC is also looking for creative solutions to water supply for properties that aren't within a functioning water line. More public information campaign than public policy change, the FAC is looking at ways to educate community members about how to test and improve soil quality in the area.
Check out the food landscape map here
and the analysis here