Living In a Food Desert, This Pastor Became a Shepherd & Led His Community to Healthier Lands

By Jack Day

Ever heard of a food desert? The USDA defines a food desert as, “urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food… USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that 23.5 million people live in food deserts.”

Pastor Richard Joyner of Missionary Baptist Church in Conetoe, North Carolina lives in one. He says that in his 12 years serving there, he has been to more funerals than anything else. He saw the diseases that were killing the residents of his community and he knew he had to do something. But he needed help.

Enrolling the help of the people of Conetoe, especially the children, Pastor Joyner has been able to transform his small town into a better place by creating a community garden. Everyone is there to help each other and by learning about farming and agriculture there is a life long valuable lesson to be learned.

“This garden has changed our community life. It’s a place where we can produce, it’s a place we can play, and it’s a place where we can live.”

Watch the video to learn more about why CNN picked Pastor Joyner as one of their Top Ten Heroes of 2015.

What did you think about the Pastor’s story? Had you ever heard of a food desert before? What would you do if you found yourself living in one? Please tell us your stories and comments and share this great video with your friends and family.