Sisters Secure $30,000 Grant to Establish Community Garden, Combat Food Insecurity

by Gee NY
Arvelisha Woods and India Pernell (R)

In a bid to tackle food insecurity in Kansas City, Missouri, sisters and entrepreneurs Arvelisha Woods and India Pernell have clinched a significant victory.

Co-founders of Mattie’s Foods, a local venture deeply rooted in family tradition and community values, the duo has been awarded a $30,000 grant to establish a transformative community garden.

Drawing inspiration from their grandmother, Mattie, whose culinary ingenuity transformed meager ingredients into nourishing meals, Woods and Pernell launched Mattie’s Foods with a mission to honor her legacy.

Their cafe and food truck specialize in serving vegan comfort food for breakfast and lunch, alongside smoothies and desserts, aiming to uplift their community with every meal.

Beyond satiating hunger, the sisters aspire to empower their community through food education.

Their vision gained momentum with the recent victory at the second annual “We Are Black Pitch Competition,” hosted by Kansas City G.I.F.T. (Generating Income For Tomorrow), a local business accelerator dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs in historically marginalized neighborhoods.

With the grant secured, Woods and Pernell are poised to address the pressing issue of food deserts in Kansas City.

Armed with a desire to combat the city’s staggering food insecurity rates, which stood at 14.1% overall and 20.7% for children in 2020, the sisters plan to establish a community garden.

This initiative aims not only to provide fresh produce to underserved areas but also to empower residents with the skills and knowledge needed to become self-sufficient in food production.

By offering educational resources on gardening and sustainable agriculture, Woods and Pernell envision a future where every community member has access to nutritious food.

Reflecting on their childhood experiences in a neighborhood devoid of accessible grocery stores, the sisters are determined to realize their ultimate vision of a vibrant, self-sustaining community garden.

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