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Hub City Mutual Aid

Building resilience and solidarity across communities.

Mississippi has the highest rate of food insecurity in the nation, and when the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, food insecurity among Black, Indigenous, Brown and low-income communities was further exacerbated in Mississippi. Here in South MS, Hattiesburg Ward 2 lost one of its few grocery stores due to financial hardship, and area small Black farmers were systematically excluded from the USDA's Farmers to Families Food Box Program, which was intended to deliver fresh produce and other food stuffs to food-insecure families during the pandemic. In response, MRC established the Hub City Mutual Aid Project, partnering with Oseola McCarty Youth Development Center in Ward 2's East Jerusalem neighborhood, a predominantly Black and low-income neighborhood, to establish an organic community garden. Impacted community members, community groups, USM students, grassroots organizations and other volunteers help maintain the garden, and all produce from East Jerusalem Community Healing Garden is distributed to East Jerusalem households. 

In order to investigate, identify and address the root causes of the systemic inequities leading to food apartheid, crumbling infrastructure and lack of investment in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Hattiesburg Ward 2, we're also engaging in deep, long-term community organizing to build people power and support strategic development of community-led solutions that will promote resilience and equity.

 

In 2024, we're excited to further deepen Hub City Mutual Aid organizing by working with other communities, grassroots groups and organizations in the Hattiesburg area, like Oseola McCarty Youth Development Center, The Spectrum Center, Petal Healing Garden and the Bee Network, to launch the Food Freedom Network- an initiative to build a safe, inclusive and sustainable community-led local food system providing healthy food for community members in Forrest County facing food apartheid and food insecurity. 

It takes all of us to build stronger, resilient and equitable communities, and we all have skills and talents to offer the mutual aid movement in Hattiesburg! Join Hub City Mutual Aid and let us know how you'd like to get involved.

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