At his first State of the City address, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens pledged $5 million of city funds toward a $20 million goal for early education. The United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation answered that call, committing $4.5 million toward the mayor’s early learning initiative. “I am grateful that the Whitehead Foundation and United Way of Greater Atlanta are locking arms with us to invest in early education, particularly in areas of our city that have too long lacked this critical investment,” Dickens said in a statement. “I invite other funders to join our cause.” Organizations interested in making their own contributions to early education can contact Mindy Binderman at email@example.com.
The City of Atlanta has launched its annual Summer Food Program, a partnership between the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s Bright from the Start program, to provide nutritious meals to children in underserved communities during the summer months. The annual program serves breakfast and lunch onsite to school-aged children up to age 18. Meals are provided at participating City of Atlanta recreation centers through Camp Best Friends as well as other partner locations. The food program kicked off today and ends July 29. A complete list of providers can be found on the City of Atlanta Department of Park and Recreation website.
MARTA is partnering with the Global Growers Network to establish a farm near Indian Creek rail station in DeKalb County. Produce from the farm will be available at MARTA Markets, which expanded into DeKalb County this year at Kensington and Doraville rail stations. The farm at Indian Creek will host a group of local farmers known as Umurima, a name that pays homage to their home country of Burundi. Since 2010, the Umurima farmers have grown fresh food for their families and local markets on private land near Avondale rail station with support from Global Growers, an organization known for its network of farms and gardens that facilitate land access for new Americans. The group of women take MARTA to and from their homes in Clarkston and Stone Mountain to tend to their garden.