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CJ Blog

Meet Nichole: Director of Programs

Meet Nichole Fields-Kyle, Concrete Jungle’s Director of Program and Operations. Nichole is responsible for supporting our staff on the ground as well as overseeing all the behind-the-scenes operations that provide fresh food for our community.

Like many other CJ staff, Nichole got her start with Concrete Jungle as a volunteer. Nichole is a transplant by way of California and New York. When she arrived in Atlanta, she immediately looked for a way to get her hands dirty. 

As she puts it, “I came that first day to volunteer and was fresh off the plane, maybe 4 days into living in Atlanta. And I actually met one of our other coworkers there, who was also a volunteer at the time. He asked me such great questions about myself. Not like, ‘So, what do you do for fun? ‘or ‘What do you do for work?’, but really wanting to get to know me. After that, I took the MARTA train for an hour to get to the farm every other Saturday during my first year living here. Just because of that sense of community. I didn’t know anyone here, but all of these people were coming together to sweat for two hours, to do this volunteer work, and they really cared whether I showed up or not.

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CJ Partner: Ernesta Ingram with Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center

For over 30 years the Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center, or SWEEAC, has assisted hundreds of families by delivering whole, quality foods to those who need it in the Metro Atlanta area. In total, they have supported 50,000 families and distributed over 1 million lbs of food to families across the state of Georgia. Additionally, SWEEAC encourages families to focus on their spiritual, mental and physical health with the goal to empower clients with the tools to be self-sufficient and productive members of society — which they do well. 

With all the good SWEEAC does for the community, it’s supporters like Ernesta Ingram, an ex-executive who decided to spend her time giving back to Atlanta by providing food assistance to disadvantaged families that make nonprofits specializing in food insecurity thrive. Ernesta was instrumental during the Concrete Jungle Covid Grocery Delivery Program, and she has been an enthusiastic ally in the food insecurity area.

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PEELing Off! And Meet Claire!

My name is Claire Fendrick, and I am the new PEEL Program lead here at Concrete Jungle! I am a second year Masters student at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. During my senior year of college, I developed a deeper interest in the food justice movement, and decided that it was the field in which I hoped to explore when I moved to Atlanta for grad school. This interest led me to Concrete Jungle, where I’ve been working since the fall of 2020. During the 2020-2021 school year, I co-led the COVID-19 Grocery Delivery Program from September to June. Now that we’ve wrapped up GDP, I’m moving on to helping the transition back into PEEL programming for the fall!   

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Climate on Our Minds

‘Climate on Our Minds’ is part of the Georgia Climate Stories series, highlighting climate impacts and solutions from across the state.

Georgia wastes approximately 2 million tons of food every year. When food decomposes in landfills, it emits highly potent greenhouse gases. Concrete Jungle’s harvests helps our climate too!

Check out this short video by Georgia Climate Project featuring Concrete Jungle. ‘Climate on Our Minds’ is part of the Georgia Climate Stories series, highlighting climate impacts and solutions from across the state.

To explore other stories, visit: http://stories.georgiaclimateproject.org/

CJ Family: Jeanie Driscoll

One of the most vibrant parts of Concrete Jungle is our Program Assistant Jeanie. Jeanie is so full of life, has never met a stranger and can make ANYONE laugh. Jeanie got to know Concrete Jungle while shopping at SWEEAC (Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center). “I would come to the cooking classes and I just adored Lauren who was leading the class.  There was lots of camaraderie in the cooking classes, and I put it out there that I wanted to help. I’ve always wanted to be helpful and I saw an opportunity with CJ.”  

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In Fruit and Justice

We have had a couple of very intense months, with no sign of easing up, and we wanted to take a moment to pause and acknowledge the trauma and rage we have felt over the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black individuals. The Concrete Jungle staff and Board want to acknowledge that injustices against the Black community go beyond police brutality. These murders, in addition to the way COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities of color, highlight the injustices that continue to plague the Black community and other marginalized individuals.

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