North Area Community Development Corporation
NACDC has more than a 15-year history of working with, instituting and administering employment and educational programming for low-income individuals and youth and working to create healthy, sustainable communities through agricultural based economics.
The Sweet POtato Project
In early 2012, NACDC partnered with a local nonprofit, When We Dream Together, Inc., to create an innovative summer youth program called "The Sweet Potato Project." During this 8-week summer program, youth planted sweet potatoes and were taught how to create a product from the produce, develop a recipe, design a website and learn marketing, storage and distribution strategies. We are now in the process of making sweet potato cookies that the students will sell over the holidays.
The immediate goal of this entrepreneurial endeavor is to show youth living in communities with very few examples of successful businesses and disproportionately high levels of unemployment, crime and illegal drug activity that there are viable money-making opportunities within their own neighborhoods. NACDC is also engaging the community, churches and secular organizations to purchase the products created by the youth.
The long term goal is to plant a seed in urban communities that can grow into large-scale farming, food production and distribtuion systems that serve many more youth, at-risk adult poulations, tackles the challenge of "food desserts" where access to healthy produce is limited and to create jobs and small businesses in long-neglected and disproportionately poor urban neighborhoods.