Sankofa builds community around food and culture in Providence’s diverse West End community.
Sankofa transforms blighted properties, provides affordable, convenient, culturally appropriate, fresh, healthy, and locally produced food, expands economic opportunities, and encourages West End residents to meaningfully connect by fostering cultivation of land, lives, and community.
In 2011, resident demand around healthy food access in the West End spearheaded the formation of WEHDC’s Sankofa Initiative. Many residents, especially those of African and Southeast Asian backgrounds, reported that they were unable to find fresh, affordable food that was reflective of their native diets.
Sankofa is transforming the West End into an innovative center for agriculture, economic development and housing with a special eye towards promoting, celebrating and supporting the neighborhoods rich cultural identity.
Sankofa World Market (WEHDC’s farmer’s market) is a weekly celebration of food, community and culture of the West End. Sankofa World Market offers fresh, locally grown produce, prepared food, hand-made goods, weekly live music, cooking demonstrations, and more.
Sankofa Market highlights specialty crops from our diverse mix of growers such as; bitter ball, bitter melon, sweet potato greens, bitter leaf, luffa, Asian corn, amaranth, water spinach, long beans, melons, and much more.
Shoppers at Sankofa World Market can use their SNAP/EBT and WIC to purchase fresh produce.
Sankofa Community Garden includes 30,000 square feet of garden space on formerly blighted properties throughout Providence’s West End. These community gardens provide space for low-income residents of Providence, RI to grow food that will improve their nutrition and incomes.
One community garden is adjacent to Sankofa Housing, giving tenants first priority on garden beds. In addition to community gardens, there is also the 9,000 square feet Market Grower Space, and the Sankofa Community Greenhouse.
The Sankofa Community Kitchen, adjacent to the Sankofa Community Room, will provide a critical resource for Sankofa residents and the broader West End neighborhood. While Sankofa Farm addresses health disparities, Sankofa Kitchen will provide a platform to address the economic development disparities in our community.
Sankofa Eats is a series of community meals hosted by West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation (WEHDC). This series began in May of 2018 and we are in the works of becoming a community program that will last throughout the year and following years. Sankofa EATS! was conceived as a way to gather community members, allies, and business owners in support of transformative programing. The meals focus on the celebration of the completion of our community kitchen & greenhouse as well as promoting healthy eating & nutrition education.