The Global Growers Network and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) have partnered to establish a farm near Indian Creek Station in DeKalb County.
Produce from the farm will be available at MARTA Markets, which this year expanded to DeKalb County at Kensington and Doraville stations.
Indian Creek Farm will be home to a group of local farmers known as Umurima, a name that honors their home country of Burundi. Since 2010, Umurima farmers have been growing fresh food for their families and local markets on private land near Avondale Station with support from Global Growers, an organization known for its network of farms and gardens that facilitate access to land for new Americans. The women’s group takes MARTA to their homes in Clarkston and Stone Mountain to tend to their garden.
“When we learned that this farm had been uprooted and those tending it were MARTA riders, we knew we wanted to help,” said Collie Greenwood, MARTA’s interim managing director and CEO. “Indian Creek Station is located in an area identified as food insecure by the USDA and this partnership with Global Growers Network will support these refugee families and food equity in surrounding communities.”
“At Global Growers, we strive to enhance the vast agricultural expertise of growers who face barriers to accessing farmland and agricultural resources,” said Robin Chanin, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Global Growers. “This agreement with MARTA enables small-scale farmers like Umurima producers to play a leading role in providing access to fresh food.”
Launched in 2015, MARTA Markets provide convenient access to affordable fresh produce in food deserts and expand opportunities for local Georgia growers to sell their fruits and vegetables. MARTA operates the markets in partnership with Community Farmers Markets (CFM), with support from Open Hand Atlanta, Wholesome Wave GA, Urban Recipe and local growers.
Markets operate on Tuesdays at West End station, Wednesdays at HE Holmes and Bankhead stations, Thursdays at College Park and Doraville stations and Fridays at Five Points station. Kensington Market opens this summer.
Marketplaces accept cash, credit, and debit, as well as Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is doubled in the market, which means that $5 swiped is worth $10 to spend. The Atlanta Community Food Bank screens individuals and families to see if they are eligible for benefits.