Farmer Spotlight: Meet Christina Benton – A farmer whose purpose is to improve food access

By |2021-04-06T00:49:29+00:00April 5, 2021|Farmers, Fruits, Newsletter, Spring, Vegetables|0 Comments

Photo Courtesy of Christina Benton

Spring brings light and hope, a much-needed sentiment after last year’s gloomy anxiousness for our health and well-being of our loved ones, as well as the threatening worries of our country’s economic condition.

Many of us struggled as we saw, or even experienced first-hand, the already unjust structures of our current food system hitting economically distressed communities, low-income households, and Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color with the hardest blow. 

But, just as spring brings light, there are also luminaries who shed the light of kindness when it’s most needed. 

When you meet Christina Benton, you meet a farmer who not only grows a traditional market farm but goes beyond to think about who might receive her produce on the other end. Her main focus is ACCESS.

After leaving her job as a forensic anthropologist and moving back to North Carolina, Christina wanted to alleviate a current pain point in our food system. She founded Janco Community Farms, a model centered around the idea of taking unusable lots in food apartheid areas, food deserts, and low-income housing communities around Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Then, Christina turned them into small food production areas to feed fresh and nutritious food for those who lacked access. But, once the pandemic hit, Christina thought of expanding the one thing she knew how to do: grow food to feed others.  

Her vision grew when she contacted Carolina Farm Trust (CFT) to see if there were any opportunities available to expand her mission. In her own words, it happened serendipitously. 

“Our largest lot was only a ¼ acre, and I […]