Inspiring Women of the Capital Region: Leah Penniman

PETERSBURG, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In our local neighborhoods, fresh fruit and vegetables are hard to find. We meet a farmer on a mission to change that.

On 72 acres of land out in Petersburg, at a place called Soul Fire Farm, you’ll find Leah Penniman, reconnecting with the land daily.

Believing in a mission to end injustice in the food system.

“We believe food is a basic human right not a privilege. You’re still as a black person 10 times more likely die from a poor diet than you are from violence.”

Penniman put her farming skills to work by growing vegetables so she could deliver them to under-served communities.

“In the South End where we used to live, if you have a couple dollars in your pocket and you go to the corner store you can get hot Cheetos and blue drink but you can’t get a salad or a nice burrito. It’s just not available.”

Now Penniman delivers fresh produce to Albany’s South End, Arbor Hill, and North Troy, providing them with healthier options.

“We owe it to our community to do something around the high incidence of diabetes obesity and heart disease. We are dealing with the health crisis.”

“This for me is revolutionary!” Chino Hardin said.

Because in the process Penniman brings in youth groups training the next generation to take charge of their health and make better choices

“Over 75 percent of the people in our farm share program say their diets and health have improved since joining the program.”

Because at the soul of this farm is a woman not afraid to get her hands dirty and help her community.

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