JSU holds 3rd annual Crop Drop

JACKSON, Mis. (WJTV) — Hundreds of people came out to pick up some free fresh produce at the third annual crop drop.

Jackson State held the event in the parking lot of Blackburn Middle on W. Pearl Street.

There is a much bigger problem at hand when it comes to food in the capital city. Jackson State students bagged more than a million pounds of watermelon and sweet potatoes to hand out to the community in the sweltering heat.

This is a rare treat for many people in Jackson who otherwise aren’t able to get fresh produce.

The capital city is often referred to as a food desert because of the lack of healthy food options and grocery stores.

“We have a lot of gas stations and convenience stores that serve high fructose high-calorie options for our community and so especially our children we don’t have access fresh produce,” Heather Wilcox with JSU explained.

The need was made clear as a line of cars wrapped around the parking lot waiting to get their food.

“I have people in the community around me that do need food handout and I think this is very good we are in a repressed area here at Jackson state and it is wonderful for the people to be able to come out and get the crop drop,” Jackson resident, Doris Ginn said.

This problem that has gone unnoticed for many years. Charles Beady says there is a misconception when it comes to the phrase food desert.

“A lot of people think that when you say food desert you’re associating that with the delta but Jackson MS is a most of Jackson MS is a food desert meaning that 20 percent of the people are below poverty and a third of them live at least a mile away from a grocery store,” Beady the CEO of MS Food Network said.

There are things you can do to help the community and yourself.

“If you have a child in school suggest at the PTA meeting maybe we should have a school garden if you’ve got a green space in the community maybe we should have a community garden,” Sandra Shelson the exec director of Partnership for Healthier MS said.

A local chef was also on hand to teach people how to prepare healthy recipes.

The Society of Saint Andrew organized the event with the help of JSU, local farmers, The Partnership for a Healthier Mississippi and the Mississippi Food Network.

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