MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kathy Temple, the executive director of the Douglass Redevelopment Corporation, is leading the charge in the fight against food insecurity.
The Douglass Redevelopment Corporation broke ground on a community garden Tuesday.
"There's a negative narrative that surrounds North Memphis and the Douglass community that we're changing," Temple said. "This is not our narrative."
While it doesn't lack history, much of North Memphis does lack a place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. According to a report by Feeding America, a national hunger-relief organization, 21% of Shelby County residents lack access to enough food for an active, healthy life.
"This is a food desert," Temple said. "Our goal is to revitalize and create sustainability in this community."
Community members are welcome on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays to help till the ground and plant fall vegetables.
"We're starting with gardens because when I grew up here," Temple said. "This neighborhood was all fruit trees. There were fruit trees everywhere. I could run down this street, which I grew up on, and just pull a peach, a pear, some blueberries and just eat it."
Temple says the garden on Tayner Street is only just the beginning.
"We're doing container gardens in crates to make it easily moveable cause we'll be able to take two or three containers and start the next garden on the next street with those groups of people on that street," Temple said. "If we do this street by street, block by block, incorporating the residents of each street eventually we'll have a well-fed, well-taken-care-of community."