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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Susan Desmond

Wholesome Wave Georgia

Susan Desmond was raised in Michigan and as an adult, she spent time in Colorado and California. Desmond decided to move closer to her family and chose to settle in Atlanta, Georgia. She had worked in the food system in her previous jobs and was interested in the food access work of Wholesome Wave Georgia. Desmond speaks of the difficulties of parenting and working during the Pandemic. Gardening and growing food became an outlet for Desmond and her family. They spent much time outside together during the Pandemic.

At Wholesome Wave, the group transitioned into virtual work and worked to develop the necessary care for their constituents. They offered Double SNAP benefits and worked with local farmers markets to create the necessary infrastructure to accept and swipe SNAP cards.  Desmond noted that Wholesome Wave also started Plant2Plate, a program that allowed families to purchase plants with their SNAP benefits. They taught them how to plant and care for them, and they provided them with soil, pots, and gloves.

Date of interview:

Diana Dombrowski


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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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