Many of Macon’s most impoverished live in Southside, which includes 4 of the most
highly distressed census tracts in the county. 90% black, 40% without a high school
diploma, the statistics reflect a community that still struggles to gain equal education
and economic opportunities.
USDA defines a food desert as a place with no supermarket and no public
transportation within a one mile radius. In Southside Macon the distance is over four
As recently as 20 years ago, Southside Macon was home to gardens, mini-farms, and
multiple options to purchase fresh produce. Today, a couple backyard gardens
provide the only source of fresh produce.
Led by a third generation Southside resident, the community has galvanized around
an effort to combat the blight with green. Forming a Community Development
Corporation, they are dedicated to a community farm initiative, transforming
underutilized properties into usable farm land. The effort is focused on blighted,
uninhabited properties with an unequivocal zero displacement policy.
The first phase of ONE South CDC’s initiative is to take a contiguous group of
properties at Southside’s core and create an urban farm campus with a focus on arts,
culture, education, and heritage. This will be ground zero for the effort to transform