In 2021, more than 13.5 million American households didn’t have access to enough food to feed their families. These communities are often forced to rely on heavily processed fast food, which puts them at a higher risk for chronic diseases.
Witnessing these disparities in food access and health firsthand, Beverly Grant discovered a way to feed — and ultimately heal — her community and other under-resourced areas.
Grant is the founder of Mo’ Betta Green, a farmers market and educational platform that has expanded into three urban gardens serving under-resourced neighborhoods of Denver, Colorado.
Growing up, Grant was introduced to self-sufficient farming by her grandmother, who planted, canned, and dried most of the vegetables she ate when visiting her home in Denver’s Whittier neighborhood.
“She provided for a family of ten and had a backyard urban farm before it became the style,” Grant told The Denver Post.
After her first child developed allergies to milk and eggs, Grant was exposed to plant-based eating. She started reading food labels more closely and became more aware of the ingredients she was consuming.
So in 2011, inspired by her experiences and community, Grant founded Mo’ Betta Green.
“The slang part, mo’ betta, is about self-improvement, something that’s easy and that you can do one step, one bite at a time,” Grant told the Denver Post. “Green is about the lifestyle, sustainability, and regeneration.”
Grant has now worked for over a decade to increase accessibility to nutritious locally grown foods by placing urban farms in under-resourced areas, holding classes to teach nutrition and cooking, and advocating for increased food access legislation.
“When you provide for those who have the least, you provide for everyone,” Grant said in an interview with Slow Food Denver.
Through the urban farms, which Grant calls “Seeds of Power Unity Farms,” the entrepreneur has enlisted the help of community members to grow fresh, organic, and local food for the entire community.
In another interview, with Denver-based magazine 5280, Grant shared that she believes urban farms can “shift people’s relationship to food, so they realize the way they eat, how they eat, and how it’s paramount to their health.”
Grant believes health disparities caused by poor diets can be fixed through food education and access. By providing both fresh food and knowledge on how to cook with it, Grant hopes to eradicate these health disparities.“I try to inspire people through tasting,” Grant told the Denver Post. “Once they’ve tasted something and it meets their approval, you achieve that moment when they’re ready to listen, especially when they realize it’s easy to make and has incredible health benefits.”