SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Every year to recognize the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, companies and volunteers across Savannah come together to tackle an issue in our community. This year the focus is food insecurity. 

The Economic Opportunity Authority in Savannah is revamping their garden space to help keep local mouths fed with good quality foods, something Mayor Van Johnson said is a city priority. 

“Urban agriculture is growing, fresh fruit and vegetables are becoming more necessary than ever before and we’re finding ways to help people to do it locally and then keep it local,” Johnson said. “So, that’s been very, very important to us as we hope to expand food options for our citizens.” 

Thursday, volunteers got to work weeding, putting down fresh soil and planting produce to create a community garden in an area that the EOA Project Director says desperately needs it. 

“Here in our community there’s a 17.6% poverty rate and about 35,000 people are food insecure,” Debbie Walker said. “So, with that we want to have fresh produce for people. The garden will be open, so if you’re in need of fresh produce you are welcome to come to our location here at 618 West Anderson Street.”

The mayor said these nutritious foods are vital to help kids living with food insecurity grow up strong and the adults working tirelessly to care for them to stay healthy too. 

And for the volunteers coming together, Johnson said there’s no better way to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. 

“Ultimately, he gave his life in ultimate service, and he famously said anybody can be great because anybody can be of service,” Johnson said. “Here are opportunities to be great. People talk about doing big, bold things, no, it’s just coming to your local EOA and giving an hour of your time.”   

The mayor said Thursday’s efforts are a part of a bigger push to tackle the food insecurity in our area and that the city will be looking for more ways to get more fresh produce to children and adults in need.