The Metro Atlanta Task Force
There’s no question that homeless shelters and soup kitchens are struggling to feed their charges, at the same time as food pantry demands are rising.But one homeless shelter in Atlanta has found an innovative solution to the needs of their hungry population: Help them grow their own food.
The Metro Atlanta Task Force is “employing” Atlanta’s homeless population at Atlanta’s Peachtree and Pine Streets to cultivate an organic rooftop garden, complete with honeybees and a rainwater system. The result is dozens of pounds of vegetables that can feed the shelter’s residents.
“Everything we do here involves residents,” Anita Beaty, executive director, told Atlanta Progressive News. “They get job training and every job is preparation for a job outside.”
The rooftop garden currently has 80 beds filled with collards, mustard greens, kale, chard, grapes, squash, peppers, tomatoes, and more. Resident gardeners love the program, explaining that having a job helps keep them off the streets and out of trouble. The next project will be building a kitchen so residents can cook the produce they grow.