FRANKLINVILLE, N.Y. — The African Heritage Food Coop in Niagara Falls specializes in doing business with farmers and distributors, to provide fresh produce for people in the community.
And owner Alexander Wright had an idea to expand on that.
"We were noticing that we didn't have enough people from our community who we were doing business with," he said.
But that’s no longer the case. People from the community can now get a chance to farm and make money, thanks to Blegacy Farms.
It’s a 22-Acre farm in Franklinville that offers community members and leaders the opportunity to rent 10,000 sq ft plots of land to grow and sell crops.
"We will buy from them any fruits or vegetables that they successfully create," said Wright.
Wright said it's also an effort to right a wrong.
"When the federal government gave the states the right to give people loans for farming, and what happened is through racist practices, there are African Americans who were just pushed out of farmland," he said. "What I feel is that people don't lack skill, they don't lack talent, they lack opportunity,"
Blegacy Farms will provide free training and support for new farmers. And once the crops are harvested, the African Heritage Food Coop will buy them distribute them to those in need.
"We do deliveries in the community, people can buy produce, and we sell to everyone. But we have our stores and our main focus is in food deserts," said Wright.
Wright said the next step is working on getting transportation for people to come here and plant their crops.
This story was first published by Ala Errebhi at WKBW in Buffalo, New York.