Urban farm coming to city’s East Side
SAN ANTONIO – A large portion of the city’s East Side has been deemed a food desert by the U.S Department of Agriculture, but now several local groups are working together to make sure residents have proper access to fresh and healthy food.
The San Antonio Housing Authority, San Antonio College and Compost Queens are working in collaboration on a 4.1-acre plot of land that will become the largest urban farm in San Antonio.
“It will let people get the freshest possible food,” said Alicia Griffon, an East Side homeowner, who lives just around the corner from the urban farm. “For a short while, I was able to grow fresh tomatoes in my backyard, and there is no taste that compares to fresh tomatoes right off the vine.”
Now Griffon and her neighbors will have fresh fruits and vegetables at their convenience, which until now was a real problem.
“On this side of town, diabetes is the No. 1 health challenge we have, and that’s based upon diet,” said San Antonio Housing Authority President and CEO David Nisivoccia.
Nisivoccia said the East Side needs more healthy food options.
“One grocery store, mini marts on the corners for people to get their healthy foods, or get their food sources, I should say, wasn’t enough. So we thought to support this community and help the transportation of the East Side … an urban farm made perfect sense,” Nisivoccia said.
The urban farm is bringing in more than just food, it’s trying to make a change for future generations.
“There’s going to be some courses and opportunities to learn about healthy foods and where it comes from. Most kids who come from the urban center don’t understand the relationship between food and crops and the quality of food that generates,” Nisivoccia said.
By Max Massey