Success Stories

Memphis Association Uses Game Changer Grant to Reduce Blight and Put Urban Farming to Work on Vacant Lots

April 2013

The 3,100-member Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) is determined to fight the blight that is overwhelming a number of its urban neighborhoods.  Thanks to an NAR Game Changer Grant, MAAR is now partnering with the mayor’s office on what seems like a “win-win-win-win” solution:  a pilot program that seeks not only to reduce neighborhood blight – but to increase neighborhood pride, spur economic development, and, remarkably, to boost the local school lunch program.  The new program is testing the viability of urban farming on vacant lots in a neighborhood of South Memphis, using hoop houses to extend the growing season. The hope is that immediate neighbors can be engaged to be responsible for the farm-lots, and that the harvest of healthy produce will be sold to local public schools for use in lunches

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