Quality food – The area we're serving lacks a full-sized grocery store, which makes it a "food desert." For people with transportation, groceries are several miles away, but we would like to develop residents’ ability to access or even grow their own food in community gardens and to become more aware of the importance of good nutrition. We have partnered with the Central Louisiana Food Bank toward that end. They began a community garden project several years ago that has grown and developed in several parts of the community; in fact, they already have established a small garden at Pineville Elementary. There is much room for growth in our selected neighborhood.
Second, CLEDA began a Rural Prosperity Initiative a few years back that facilitates the development and use of locally grown foods and farmers’ markets. Mr. John Cotton Dean serves on our United Way board of directors, and with his colleagues at CLEDA will be closely involved in this aspect of the Project.