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Volunteers harvest donated produce for the Athens non-profit Concrete Jungle, which addressed food insecurity.

German alum making a difference with local food insecurity

Jennifer Galluci, Athens director of Concrete Jungle

UGA Germanic & Slavic Studies alum Jenny Gallucci (2020) is putting her degrees in German and Geography and a certificate in Environmental Sustainability to work in a complementary way in an Athens non-profit addressing food insecurity. Gallucci serves as the Athens Program Director for Atlanta-based Concrete Jungle.

“Our mission is to provide fresh food to people who need it instead of having it go to waste,” Gallucci explained. The non-profit aims to bridge the gaps in local food systems by utilizing previously overlooked fruit trees and land for all seasons and providing fresh food to the community.

For example, residential fruit trees may have unharvested produce rotting on the trees that can be put to good use. Galluci recruits and organizes volunteers to harvest the extra produce from local community members and donate that food local organizations that work to address hunger. She describes the mission as the “intersection of promoting health outcomes, reducing food waste, and relieving food insecurity”. As of 2016, the Athens-Clarke community has a food insecurity rate of 22%, meaning approximately 26,000 individuals experience food insecurity. In a 2021 interview with the Red and Black, Gallucci describes her work as “food assistance with a lot of dignity”. Concrete Jungle allows those in need to have fresh food and eliminate food insecurity.

To get involved in the Athens community and sustainability, visit Concrete Jungle’s volunteer page. Learn more about the organization’s work with this intro video.

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