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Memphis Tilth provides healthy sustainable food options for Mid-South communities

With many Family Dollar locations around the Mid-South reopening, shoppers want to know what healthy, alternative options for their groceries are out there.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Last month, hundreds of family dollar stores across the Mid-South temporarily shut down after the company’s distribution center in West Memphis was infested with rodents.

Now, Family Dollar tells ABC24 parts of that distribution center are back open, and they’ve also begun reopening stores.

All this has brought into question other alternative food sources people can rely on.

ABC24 spent the day at Memphis Tilth to talk about food insecurity.

They say mother nature has all the ingredients for a healthy life.

“With all the supply chain disruption, we feel that it’s important that people understand the importance of local food by growing your own food, by supporting local farmers,” said Mia Madison, Memphis Tilth Executive Director. "It’s a way in which you can ensure food security within the community."

RELATED: "It's rough on us" | Those in North Memphis food desert deal with full week of Family Dollar closure, uncertainty

Madison has seen communities with limited to no healthy food sources.

“If there’s no access through a specific distribution chain, it is required of community members to kind of pull together to create that access,” said Madison. "What that means is growing your own food, supporting your local farmers, figuring out how to get that food from farm to table."

Memphis Tilth has three different gardens in Memphis where they grow and give away healthy foods to community members.

RELATED: Full-service grocery store returns to Downtown Memphis, exciting longtime neighbors

It’s part of their “Bring It Food Hub” program.

“We aggregate food from farms within 150 miles and we distribute that in over 25 different food access points,” said Madison. “Farmers are a direct line to food security in our communities. Those growers, farmers, within our region need that support.”

Memphis Tilth is unique. Take, for instance, their St. Paul garden in South Memphis.

The area has a lot of people who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

The food grown at that garden directly addresses those issues.

“Here, we grow a particular fruit that’s specific to lowering sugar in the blood,” said Madison. “We actually grow specifically for diabetic nutrition, so green leafy vegetables…What we do is strengthen our local food system.”

For those who want to start growing for themselves, Memphis Tilth gives away seeds.

They have them at their location in South Memphis or at the Benjamin Hooks Library.

They’ll also be starting their spring season’s “Bring It Food Hub” with curbside food pickup and deliveries.

   

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