Happy New Year Eco-Interviews listeners! To kick off 2021, I’m sharing a quick interview with April Jones, founder of the Pinehurst Farmers Market in Columbia, SC.
With two grocery stores closing in her Pinehurst neighborhood, April and her neighbors were facing what’s known as a food desert or food apartheid situation. April was inspired by legendary farmer Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm to be the change she was looking for in her Pinehurst Community. At a conference April attended, Penniman said: “If you are looking for someone to save you, no one is coming. You will have to save yourself.” Those words were a call to action for April to create a solution to the issue of food access in the Pinehurst neighborhood. The vision was created to form a self-reliant, self-sustainable plan of action that would create healthy, organic food options for the community that would support the local economy and give residents access to food sovereignty.
Two years later and with COVID-19 changing the way we all interact with each other in day-to-day life, April has created the Pinehurst Community Action non-profit, which accepts donations that are then turned into COVID solidarity boxes full of fresh, locally and regeneratively grown fruits and vegetables.
April really is trailblazing here with her neighborhood, creating the community, mutual aid, and food systems that move people from surviving to thriving. This is SO important as we’ve seen presumed stable systems collapse during the pandemic. The United States is facing some of the highest infection and death rates from COVID, and this is compounded by a hunger crisis, economic crisis, and the systemic racism that is baked into our institutions. April really is living up to Leah Penniman’s words by creating something to save herself and her community.
If you are local to Columbia, South Carolina, I encourage you to visit the farmers market on Wednesday afternoons, or contribute to Pinehurst Community Action. For those further afield, seek out similar community action in your area, or be the one to start something!
In 2021, let’s create the world we want now and for future generations. It will take all of us working together to ensure our own health, wealth, and happiness.
Get the full interview transcript + video at https://eco-interviews.com.