Rev. Dr. Robert Jeffery, Sr.
Clean Greens Farm & Market, Seattle, WA
The Reverend Dr. Robert Jeffery Senior has been a lifelong advocate for building strong and self-sustaining communities. For nearly forty years, he has worked to empower BIPOC communities in the Central District of Seattle. Over the years, he has founded several campaigns to promote economic development and self-sufficiency; most notably, Dr. Jeffrey founded the Black Dollar Days Task Force, a nonprofit “committed to facilitating economic self-sufficiency for inner-city African Americans” (South Seattle Emerald, 2019).
Across the country, many low-income urban neighborhoods are “food deserts,” lacking easy and affordable access to grocery stores and healthy food options. This inequity contributes to higher rates of health problems related to diet within low-income communities of color. Dr. Jeffrey himself suffered from diet-related health problems, which inspired him to create Clean Greens Farm and Market in 2007.
Clean Greens Farm and Market is a volunteer-run nonprofit dedicated to providing healthy, fresh, and local produce to residents of Seattle’s Central District. Clean Greens operates several food stands, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, as well as provides free produce to low-income residents and food banks. Clean Greens also helps support residents grow their own food through a variety of educational programs. In an interview, Dr. Jeffrey explains how this work helps to “repair the uneasy relationship that many African-Americans have with agriculture, due to the painful history of slavery and exploitation imposed upon their ancestors…The group focuses on providing people with a means to a healthy lifestyle and a goal of a sustainable, green business model” (South Seattle Emerald, 2019).