Growing opportunities and changing lives.
From the Ground Up
BetterLife Growers is an aeroponic lettuce and herb growing operation that will provide new living-wage jobs in the Mechanicsville community. This innovative for-profit business concept is part of the Community Foundation’s Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative (AWBI), which aims to create sustainable sources of income in areas of the city that are in dire need of economic opportunity.
How It Works
The initiative capitalizes on the fact that only two percent of the lettuce consumed in Georgia is grown in-state, while at least 98 percent travels 2,500-plus miles from California or Arizona—sacrificing freshness, nutrition and increasing negative environmental impact.
BetterLife Growers capitalizes on the supply needs of local anchor institutions such as universities, hospitals and government facilities, wholesale produce distributors and retail grocery stores to provide healthier, more sustainably grown lettuce and herbs to our community.
Thus far, Georgia Tech, Emory University, Georgia State University, Agnes Scott College and Piedmont Hospital have signed letters of intent to buy lettuce from BetterLife Growers. Meanwhile, corporate giants Sodexo, Bon Appetit and Aramark, the three major food service managers to colleges and universities, are arguably the project’s strongest supporters. BetterLife Growers is also in talks with major grocery stores in the area who are eagerly responding to the demand for locally-grown produce.
The operation will create approximately 25 jobs that will be open to people, including the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods who might otherwise be difficult to hire, including those with criminal records. Employees will receive robust workforce training in job skills, fiscal literacy education and will have access to wrap around services to help them re-enter the workforce, which is certainly significant in a community where 38 percent of residents live below the poverty line and 32 percent did not graduate from high school.
Project Partners and Advisors
BetterLife Growers is the first program of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, powered by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
To Learn More About Betterlife Growers, Contact: