The most basic need that all humans have is the need for sustenance: food and water. With the poverty rate in Athens being as high as it is, that need for sustenance isn’t being met equally for all of the citizens of Athens.
As a social-work student at UGA, I interned with Action Ministries, which runs Our Daily Bread Community Kitchen. On average, over 100 people come every day to eat a free meal provided by various community groups. While the meals being served do satiate the guests’ appetite, the nutritional value is usually very low. People who are experiencing poverty have limited choices with the food they get for free, and understandably take what they can get.
For the SPLOST 2020 project, I would propose the creation of a downtown park filled with local, edible plants. Muscadine grapes, pecans, plums, blackberries, blueberries, mulberries, garlic, onion and so many more edible and native plants can be planted and left to flourish on their own—no gardening required. A downtown edible food forest can provide actual sustenance to people experiencing poverty or homelessness, while being a place for the community to gather and be merry under the shade of trees.