Food desert relief: Camden local wins award for building an urban farm in the city

One in five American children suffer from “food insecurity,” meaning an individual does not have reliable access to food. Cities across the country are known as “food deserts,” when nutritious food is produced far outside the reach of inner city inhabitants. Residents of food deserts tend to rely on processed foods like boxed macaroni and cheese. These items are classified as “food items” by the FDA, not actual food.

The city of Camden is considered a food desert. Fredric Byarm, the founder of Invincible City Farms, is trying to change that.

His company is focused on urban farming, a type of farming that can be accomplished in a city environment utilizing indoor greenhouses. His business model is a commercial farm. Invincible City Farms will produce crops and sell to local corner and grocery stores, as well as “anchor institutions,” organizations that work with neighborhoods and promote community that will provide access to fresh food for Camden residents.

He cites a study done by Rutgers-Camden‘s Civic Engagement and The Neighborhood Center which found in 2016 that 94 percent of city residents would eat fresh food “daily” or “often” if they were given the option.

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