Just a day before the severity of the virus became widely apparent in Atlanta, we signed a lease on the nine thousand square foot warehouse space next to ours. We’d outgrown our former cooler and freezer capacity and knew we needed to expand regardless of the pandemic. But what we thought would take us years to fill ended up taking only a few months. Within a week of signing, over 800 new customers had joined Fresh Harvest for home deliveries.

March 3, 2020. As talk about the virus started to surface, some of the FH team met in our old office to discuss the year ahead.

Eight months later, the circumstances of our world still look uncertain. With millions out of work, financial instability on the rise, social unrest, plus unprecedented sickness and death, it’s safe to say that most of us have sustained losses in 2020. Many of us don’t have a whole lot to celebrate either; and it’s not over yet. Even so, we humans need to find good in the midst of a tragedy, and thankfully the 2020 story of Atlanta’s local food movement has offered some semblance of a silver lining.

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March 13, 2020. Covid-19 shined a spotlight on our global food system’s inherent flaws. Atlantans flocked to grocery stores only to find pillaged toilet paper aisles and sold-out meat shelves.

There’s nothing like desperation to reveal how much we need each other. On one side consumers faced the scary possibility that they could run out of food for their families. At the same time, there were many small local farmers and food producers on the brink of losing their livelihood. Farmer’s markets around Atlanta started dropping like flies and plenty of growers were getting nervous about where all the food in their fields would end up. It was a scary time for many of us.