Each year, CNN announces its top ten heroes of the year, all of which are eligible to win the top prize of Hero of the Year. Among the list for 2015 is a pastor out of Conetoe, North Carolina named Richard Joyner.
Early in his career Joyner saw more funerals than anything else, being in a poor community where fresh food was not readily available. The town was a food desert and as a result people ate unhealthily. Realizing a change needed to be made, Joyner started a community garden at the Missionary Baptist Church he preached at, Good News Network reports.
The small community garden grew to 20 plots throughout Conetoe. Members throughout the community help out, including 80 children. Joyner’s goal was to bring fresh food to the town to give them a healthier lifestyle, but it seems he did a lot more than that. The congregation keeps beehives, gives away uneaten food to other neighborhoods or sells it to local restaurants to earn college money for the children, according to Good News Network. Since the garden’s inception in 2007, the community has cut its food bills in half. And Joyner doesn’t have quite as many funerals to officiate.
To vote for Richard Joyner for Hero of the Year, visit CNN Heroes.