Tallent, A.1; Wilson, S.2
1CEA-Agriculture, UofA Division of Agriculture Research & Extension, DeValls Bluff, AR, 72041
2CEA-Family Consumer Science, U of A Division of Agriculture Research & Extension, De Valls Bluff, AR, 72041


Prairie County, AR is located in what local health officials consider to be a food desert. For DeValls Bluff residents, the closest source of fresh produce is more than ten miles away.  Including community gardens in public and low-income housing developments can promote community, increase access to healthy food and support engagement of residents. Arkansas Delta Counties, which includes Prairie County, have seen a decline in population which is directly related to the economic decline in these areas.  Which have resulted in insufficient sources of fresh foods. Prairie County Extension partnered with Christopher Homes housing Authority in DeValls Bluff to aid in the providing a accessible garden, teach gardening practices, provide healthy cooking demonstrations, increase physical actives, and improve food security.  Many successes came from this program with 53% of the residents were engaged in the gardening process, increasing daily physical activities.  75% increased knowledge of gardening, nutrition, and health awareness.  Overall there was a cost saving of over $500 considering travel and cost of produce.  This is a continuing project with plans to expand in 2020.

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