An underserved community is getting a much-needed boost thanks to a community garden.

Josh Gordon, who founded The Friends of English in Atlanta, explained in a video shared by Mercedes Benz, USA that the idea for the charity organization began eight years ago after the shooting death of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnson during a botched drug raid. Her death brought attention to poverty and crime in the English Avenue community.

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“We had little kids playing in dirt lots, next to obvious drug dealers and bad guys, roaming the street,” said Gordon. “It just was something that you would have expected to find in a third-world country.”

The Friends of English Avenue organization was formed in 2009, and ever since, the group has been working to clean up and reduce crime in the area.

One of the group’s major projects was a community garden, planted on empty land in the area. Since then, the garden has grown to produce a lot of fruits and vegetables, which are now distributed around the community by the Lindsay Street Food Co-Op. Thanks to the co-op, 25 families who fall below the poverty line get access to the community’s healthy and nutritious food.

“We all still have a lot of work to do, but we’re getting there,” said Gordon.

Gordon was recently recognized as a hero in the Atlanta community, and was recognized in the Mercedes-Benz USA’s Greatness Lives Here campaign.

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