News Flash

Mayor's Press Releases

Posted on: June 1, 2021

Mayor Broome and HealthyBR Distribute Microgrants to Fight Food Deserts

Baton Rouge, La. – May 29, 2021 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and HealthyBR announced today nine new partner organizations in the Geaux Get Healthy coalition during a Scotland Saturdays event. The organizations will join the existing partners: the American Heart Association, Baton Roots Community Farm, Our Lady of the Lake/LSU Health North Clinic, and Top Box Foods. The new partners will receive a combined total of $175,000 in grants to focus on Geaux Get Healthy’s goal of ensuring everyone has access to affordable and nutritious food to live an active and healthy life.  

Since 2018, Geaux Get Healthy has used a Collective Impact Model to connect community organizations to the stakeholders and resources they need to improve food security in seven zip codes: 70802, 70805, 70806, 70807, 70811, 70812, and 70815. Geaux Get Healthy is funded by a collaborative of investments from the Humana Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. 

“Since taking office, I have worked with our community to develop programming, systems, and opportunities for us to improve the health outcomes of every resident in our parish, because I recognize that our health influences every facet of our daily lives,” said Mayor Broome.

The new partner organizations include:

  • Scotlandville Community Development Corporation: To provide community leadership and agriculture & wellness programming to Scotlandville residents.  
  • A Kingdom Connection Changing Lives: To help the families they serve to learn how fresh food can improve their health.
  • Baton Rouge Garden Alliance: To enhance its community garden program.  
  • Southern Coffee: To expand fresh food availability at its Scotlandville location and in the surrounding community. 
  • Front Yard Bikes: To expand and enhance the Front Yard Bikes Gardening and Cooking Program, which teaches youth how to grow and prepare fresh produce.
  • Perfectly Suited: To pilot a virtual gardening program that teaches youth about how to start, grow, and sustain their own gardens.
  • Scotland Saturdays: To expand and promote its monthly open-air market in Scotlandville. 
  • Sweet Jones Farms: To provide their gardening education program in an elementary school setting. 
  • YMCA of the Capital Area – ExxonMobil Branch: To support its wellness and food literacy initiatives.

Residents can visit to learn about volunteer opportunities, enroll in the clinic program, and sign up for updates on Geaux Get Healthy and its partner organizations.

History of Geaux Get Healthy

The Geaux Get Healthy program began in late 2018 through a partnership between HealthyBR and funding partners Humana Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation to address food insecurity in the 70805 zip code. In 2019, Geaux Get Healthy funded and supported the establishment of Baton Roots Community Farm at Howell Park and the Baton Rouge operation of Top Box Foods grocery delivery service. Geaux Get Healthy also engaged with more than 4,000 community members to gather data about their lived expertise around food insecurity.

In 2019, Geaux Get Healthy expanded to six additional zip codes - 70802, 70806, 70807, 70811, 70812, and 70815 – and began partnering with Our Lady of the Lake North Clinic and the American Heart Association to establish a food literacy and nutrition clinical program. In 2020, Geaux Get Healthy reached approximately 20,000 community members through virtual programming. Community outreach grew more than 12,000 pounds of food and delivered over 118,000 pounds in some of our community’s most underserved communities.

The primary goal of Geaux Get Healthy is to improve food security by supporting a coalition of organizations that:

  • Produce and distribute fresh food
  • Provide educational opportunities that connect community members with the local food system to improve their food security and overall health.

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