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10.5 acre farm breaks ground in Moncrief food desert

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Clara White Mission broke ground Thursday morning on a new farmers market and training center.

The new $1.5 million multi-use facility being funded by the city of Jacksonville will be built at White Harvest Farms in Moncrief.

“It’s a learning farm,” said Farm Manager Mallory Schott. “We want you to come out here, get some fresh air, get some exercise, and learn a little bit more about how to grow food yourself.”

The 10.5 acres farm is owned by the Clara White Mission. It grows a variety of fresh produce, including butternut squash and mint.

“We crave healthy, fresh, delicious food so it’s been a really good response to the farm so far,” Schott said.

The farm also offers several different learning opportunities for people in the community through workshops, classes and volunteer experiences.

“We want this to be a part of the symbol of hope, where people can come who are hurting, a safe haven for kids after school,” said Clara White President and CEO Ju’Coby Pittman.

RELATED: Jaguars Foundation, Sysco Foods, more companies chip in to support Clara White Mission

The Clara White Mission said the second phase will help improve access to fresh food for people in the community.

“It’s important to have a farmers market here on the Northside in Moncrief because there’s not a lot of good grocery stores and coupled with the lack of transportation, often it’s hard to get fresh food,” Schott said.

The revamped farm and new farmers market is set to open in Summer 2021.

Clara White Mission relies on donations from generous community partners and members in order to operate. One year of services costs about half a million dollars. To support the mission, you can make a donation here.


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