The East Hattiesburg Fresh Food on the Block Program

Project Overview

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2009: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Sylvia Forster
Pinebelt Association for Familes


Not commodity specific


  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems

    Proposal abstract:

    The East Hattiesburg Fresh Food on the Block Project established The East Jerusalem Farmer’s Market in the low wealth community of East Jerusalem in Hattiesburg Mississippi. The Market was held every Saturday morning from June through the middle of November. Three public events in the park were also coordinated along with the market. These were opportunities for residents to receive free blood pressure checks, healthy recipes and for youth to exercise in a water jumper. The Market not only provided locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables but also increased nutrition knowledge in this same community through information outreach and community events partnering with The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, The City of Hattiesburg, local nonprofit community organizations, churches, youth groups, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Mississippi State Extension Services.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objectives of the grant included:
    1. Creating a new East Jerusalem Farmer’s Market in the East Jerusalem low wealth community of Hattiesburg, MS;
    2. Increase the nutritional knowledge of these same community residents through the Market and community meetings involving Ms State Extension, Southeast Rural Health and University of Southern Mississippi;
    3. Build collaborative efforts involving at least four local farmers, Mississippi State Extension Services, City of Hattiesburg, Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and University of Southern Miss;
    4. Support the use of EBT at the Market;
    5. Build a local infrastructure to support the local food/local grower connection; and
    6. Expand media coverage.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.