Executive Director of Wholesome Wave Georgia, Will Sellers, joins Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio to discuss the organization, the impact it has had on metro Atlanta, and several projects currently in the works. Join co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick on today’s exciting Around Atlanta Radio segment.
Sellers is a native to Georgia, with his family history in the Peach State dating back to the early 1900s. Sellers joined Wholesome Wave by pure happenstance. He started working on the city of Atlanta’s Urban Accordance in 2013, and opportunities started to follow!
“It became a phenomenal opportunity for me,” said Sellers. “I was looking to have an impact, build community and help our neighbors in need. I have a real passion for this kind of work and am always happy to talk about it. I love the work we do at Wholesome Wave.”
Wholesome Wave Georgia was founded by a group of five citizens in 2009. After the big recession in 2008, this group of citizens came together and decided it would be beneficial to help their neighbors in need. People who are not necessarily going hungry, but who might not have enough food to make it through the week or month are a target market of Wholesome Wave. With these ideas in mind, the group of citizens began working with Wholesome Wave’s corporate office in Connecticut to bring the organization to Georgia.
Wholesome Wave Georgia started in the East Atlanta Farmer’s Market and has since grown to incorporate more than 60 farmer’s markets statewide. Snap recipients, formally known as food stamp recipients, are able to go to a farmer’s market in the area and purchase fresh, locally grown food. Not only do these farmer’s markets across Georgia accept the Snap cards, but Wholesome Wave doubles the purchasing power of each swipe up to $40 per visit. In 2019, Wholesome Wave was able to participate in over 10,000 EVT transactions.
“Many people have the ability to shop where they want to shop and buy what they want to buy,” said Sellers. “The issue with our neighbors in need is when they open a wallet, they have to make a very different food choice. That choice tends to be packaged, high in fat and high in sodium to increase shelf life. Of course, they would love to buy that nice kale or beautiful fresh carrots, but sometimes when they are looking at the bottom line, they have to make a different decision.”
Wholesome Wave Georgia doubles the purchasing power of EVT purchases to help families in need make the most of the money they have and continue to make better food decisions. Not only does it help families in the immediate future, but it also helps to instill lifelong healthy habits in children to help counteract several jarring statistics in Atlanta, including:
- 1/3 of metro Atlantans are obese regardless of income
- 1/4 children in metro Atlanta live with food insecurity
- 2/3 adults in metro Atlanta does not consume the recommended two-and-a-half cups of vegetables or fruit per day
Another way Wholesome Wave Georgia helps to make the lives of Georgians healthier is by going to neighborhoods and working with key stakeholders, like farmer’s markets, to build community. It serves long-term residents by helping establish a sense of community and belonging.
The Urban Food Forest in Brown’s Mill, the largest food forest in the nation, is a source of pride amongst Atlantans. The Food forest provides a wide variety of fresh produce available to the public. Located in one of Atlanta’s many food deserts, or areas without a grocery store within two to three miles of residential areas, the Urban Food Forest is another project Wholesome Wave helps with, in conjunction with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
To learn more about Wholesome Wave Georgia, how to get involved and the impact of the organization, make sure to listen to the full interview above. You can also visit www.WholesomeWaveGeorgia.org for more information.
Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and Wholesome Wave Georgia are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (March/2020)
New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit www.branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.
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