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Healthy Savannah, Setting The Table

Last month Goodfortune Market had the sincere pleasure of being introduced to the staff at Healthy Savannah. Healthy Savannah was Founded by former Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson in 2007 with the purpose of making Savannah a healthier place to live. We met Deputy Project Manager Armand Turner and Executive Director Paula Kreissler, on a December afternoon at our store front on Waters Ave, next door to Cast and Grey and The Stacks Bookstore. The three of us discussed our common goal of bringing more access to healthy foods in Savannah’s urban neighborhoods. We all agreed bridging the gap between our local farmers and people who need access to these foods, recirculates wealth within our own state and makes our bodies healthier. Healthy Savannah works to promote and make policies that encourage efforts to improve healthy food access and reduce barriers to nutrition. Goodfortune is committed to bringing a diverse range of quality, fresh foods with local offerings to Midtown Savannah.

Healthy Savannah runs an initiative called Savannah Chatham Food Policy Council.

SCFPC held one of their monthly meetings at a community center near Waters Ave, and

Goodfortune was given an esteemed invitation to attend. This was a diverse group of

community members gathered around 4 large tables. The center of each table was filled with

pens and markers and a large tablet of paper. Something exciting was going to happen, it was in the air.

As the meeting started we heard Dr. Elsie Small, talk to the room about what it means to “set the table.” Elsie told us that setting the table is what we were gathered here to do. For Elsie, and for us last Thursday night, setting the table was about getting ready for something powerful to happen. When we set the table we begin by laying down the table cloth, in this way we set the stage. By putting chairs around the table, we are inviting others to join. As the plates and silverware are established in front of each chair we are providing the tools for individuals to participate in the events to come. We must do all of these things before we can share a meal with others.

Last month's SCFPC meeting was invigorated with discussion on community gardens.

This month we were instructed to talk amongst each other over the topic of “What one thing

would improve access to quality foods in Savannah?” Our task was to identify the tools required for setting the table. As everyone grabbed pens, we elected our table speaker to keep notes. Then, we came together and Goodfortune heard productive and motivational points on what Savannah food access looks like to a diverse range of people throughout the community. We talked about the need for more gardens to educate and motivate a relationship with food. Then we talked about how to distribute those foods through the neighborhoods. Goodfortune was able to hear directly from our neighbors about their personal food needs, and engage in a conversation about accessibility in Savannah.

The table is being set.

Healthy Savannah is partnered in the Tide-to-Town project. A 5 year plan to bring 30

miles of continuous trails and pathways connecting 30 schools, 3 major hospitals, and 64

Learn more about Healthy Savannah here

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