Food Insecurity in Knoxville
Beardsley Farm was originally started in 1998 to address food insecurity and provide a source of healthy, organic, locally grown produce for Mechanicsville residents. Before the construction of the Food City on the corner of Western Ave. and Middlebrook Pike in 2007, Mechanicsville was considered a food desert. A "food desert" is an area without access to fresh produce, largely because of a lack of grocery stores, within a three mile radius. For those who depend on public transportation, or use bikes or walking as their means of transportation, traveling three miles or more to the nearest grocery store can become an inconvenient and burdensome task.
Beardsley Farm grows over 70 different fruits and vegetables and donates 10,000 pounds of produce annually. Produce donations go to a variety of Knoxville kitchens and pantries, including Mobile Meals, KARM, Global Seeds, and the Family Crisis Center.