As we approach the end of the year and reflect on all that CJ has accomplished, we want to share stories from our community. Meet Julie, a new Concrete Jungle volunteer. Julie and her children first got involved with CJ at one of our adventure picks, harvesting apples in the mountains of Tiger, Georgia.
Julie is originally from Tennessee but moved to Atlanta for a fresh start a few years ago. She volunteered with a variety of food justice initiatives around town before finding her way to Concrete Jungle. When she saw the Tiger apple pick opportunity in August, she thought it was the perfect opportunity for the whole family to get their hands dirty for a good cause.
She told us, “Adventure picks are a really cool way to get people to volunteer, because you get to go to cool places and then do something fun afterwards. I’ve never eaten an apple straight off a tree. Those were the best apples I’ve ever eaten. That was awesome. And then we went to this little creek afterwards and it was really beautiful. I also like that Concrete Jungle takes food that otherwise is just going to go to waste.”
She values her time spent volunteering with Concrete Jungle for many different reasons. “I guess part of it probably is because I’m a single mom and I did get food stamps. So I know what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet… And all of these things happen together. There’s a reason that people are in poverty and also struggle with obesity and struggle with diabetes and heart problems. That is all related to the inability to get fresh, healthy food, inexpensively.”
Getting involved with local organizations like CJ has helped Julie make Atlanta her new home. “In Atlanta, there’s all this wealth and then you have these food deserts where there’s no food for people and it just doesn’t make sense. Concrete Jungle has opened my eyes to the idea that there are a lot of people trying to do good things in the Atlanta area, you know?”
It is because of our caring donors and volunteers like Julie that Concrete Jungle served 21,969 families this year. When you make a gift to Concrete Jungle before the end of the year, you’re providing the most nutritious produce in town to families who would otherwise not have access. You can make a gift at http://donorbox.org/mapthefruit