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The Fernwood Growing Center captures a component of Toledo Community Development Corporation(Toledo CDC) mission statement which is that it exists to foster a healthy, vibrant community through economic development and by utilizing green and sustainable practices. The Fernwood Growing Center's objective is to provide a viable outlet where access to fresh, affordable and healthy produce is available. This growing center will also generate jobs in the areas of food production, distribution and education. Toledo CDC redeveloped a 2 acre Brownfield site located at 1646 Fernwood Ave. This former Brownfield site has been transformed into a sustainable, urban agriculture social enterprise named the Fernwood Growing Center. This urban agriculture business was launched in 2009 as part of a neighborhood strategy to address the lack of healthy, affordable produce in our central city neighborhoods. There is an underlining theme that a neighborhood lacking in the ability to meet basic needs such as food, water, medical , housing etc. are constantly in a state of emergency. The people who live in such neighborhoods are often desperate to gain access to having their needs met and when these needs go unmet, over time, the residents living under these adverse conditions succumb to their limited environment and inherently foster frustration, anger, resentment and eventually hopelessness. Where hopelessness exists, so does the erosion of a community. Access to fresh, healthy produce is challenging especially when in the Toledo CDC service area, the only grocery store in the neighborhood sells mostly pre-packaged fruits and vegetables that either has expired or is close to expiring in freshness. Many residents who frequent this grocery store accept the poor quality food options which contribute to the decline of good health. In children, a poor diet lends to limited attention spans which result in poor performance in school. Also our central city neighborhoods are facing an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, asthma and other health issues among our school aged children. These health concerns are not only prevalent among the children but also among the adults as well. Families living in this type of environment experience expensive medical care and emergency room costs just to name of few of the ongoing, persistent concerns. Also, due to unstable, economic conditions, the low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents served by Toledo CDC are vulnerable to a variety of insecurities including food insecurities. The USDA defines food security as �??access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life�??. The Fernwood Growing Center is an urban agriculture/social enterprise, designed to improve sustainability as defined by HUD, through the provision of affordable, accessible healthy food which addresses the need for food security and creates a more livable and viable community for LMI residents.

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