Our mission is to increase access to locally grown foods, provide nutrition education, and inspire engagement in regional agriculture.
A vibrant, well nourished Chattanooga.
We believe in creating a food system in Chattanooga that allows easy access to affordable, healthy food while connecting closely to the producers that grow it. Our agricultural region offers a long growing season with an abundance of fresh food and talented, hardworking farmers. This organization intends to act as a resource center where obtaining affordable fresh food, learning the benefits of cooking it, and heightening our understanding of the foodscape will make for a healthier community.
Holly has been working in the field of food and nutrition her entire career. Directly after college, she worked in a hospital counseling patients on the benefits of healthy eating and preventative dietary changes. Later, while working with food insecure clients at the Chattanooga Area Food Bank for almost ten years, she observed the way the food system affects the health of low income populations. This complex and challenging work allowed her to see the true need for empowerment through food; though it was clear the lack of knowledge and familiarity with fresh foods transcended economic boundaries. The real need was to bring the entire community back to understanding their connections to food. Most recently, Holly worked as a farmers market manager for the Main St Farmers Market which is a producer-direct, sustainably focused market allowing customers to buy from local farmers and producers on a weekly basis. The culmination of a career spent in the field of food and nutrition, along with the people in and around it, prompted Holly to begin this nonprofit organization.
The Chattanooga Food Center seeks to tie all the pieces of our food system together for a greater appreciation of the food grown around us, the ability of our neighbors to obtain and afford it, and the knowledge to prepare and enjoy it.
Reach out to Holly:
Thomas is the Grocery Manager for the Chattanooga Food Center’s grocery project, Gaining Ground Grocery. He’s originally from Minnesota but moved to Tennessee to work on a farm in 2017 and never left! Thomas works closely with our farmers, researches opportunities to connect with new local vendors, and is passionate about moving Gaining Ground Grocery more deeply into our community. You can find him behind the counter at Gaining Ground Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12pm-6pm or, as often as possible, enjoying the great outdoors.
He has previous experience working on small organic farms both in Tennessee and Minnesota and spent multiple years operating the Chattanooga YMCA’s Bingo’s Market and Mobile Market grocery projects. Thomas graduated from Winona State University in 2013 with a B.A. in Psychology and received his M.S. in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication from UTK in 2023.
Reach out to Thomas:
Phone: (423) 930-8860
Cori is the Project Diabetes Coordinator at the Chattanooga Food Center and currently runs three programs under the state-funded grant: a bi-monthly walking club, cooking demonstrations at various marketplaces and cooking classes at various community centers, and a SNAP-doubling program at four participating marketplaces that incentivizes purchasing fresh, local fruits, vegetables, herbs, and seeds/plant starts.
Cori graduated from UTC in 2021 with a BA in Anthropology and will be continuing her studies this fall in the field of food access through a remote Master's program at Boston University's Metropolitan College.
Reach out to Cori:
Board President: Murphy Sauceman
Treasurer: Dan Hekman
Secretary: Kayleigh Reeves
Kathy Mead Fronheiser
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