Meet Sheneka White, CJ Board Member & Volunteer

 A South Carolina native, Sheneka migrated to Atlanta as a young undergrad at Emory, embarking on a journey that would intertwine her love for nature, sustainability, and community service.

Sheneka, now a dedicated speech pathologist at Howard School in Atlanta, found her way to Concrete Jungle in 2021 through foraging. Seeking Covid-friendly activities for her students, she introduced them to the wonders of honeysuckle and mulberries, sparking an interest that led her to a fascinating discovery: the fruit tree map, a gateway to Concrete Jungle’s world of foraging and produce picking.

Soon she started joining CJ for intown and adventure picks. At our summer corn pick a year later, she realized that Concrete Jungle had become her community and Doghead Farm became her sanctuary, a place akin to the familiar bar in the TV show “Cheers.”

From a picky eater in her childhood, she transformed into a food lover in college. Nurtured by a food class and books like “Omnivore’s Dilemma”, sustainability became her passion. Her palate evolved and her cookbook collection expanded as she embraced culinary adventures, finding joy in dishes like ginger carrot bisque from “The Flavor Equation and Vegetable Revelation.”

Now on the CJ Board and our Community Engagement Committee, Sheneka has become a CJ voice, a representative, and an advocate. She speaks at community events, sharing the story of Concrete Jungle and supporting our mission to combat food insecurity. She believes that volunteering with Concrete Jungle is more than an act; it’s a gateway to lifelong service and a path to community engagement.

When you donate to Concrete Jungle, you’re planting a seed for a more equitable and nourished Georgia. Your donation isn’t just a transaction, but a meaningful expression of your commitment to positive change in our community. Support us this #GivingTuesday and watch our impact grow.

Meet Helen Cummins, CJ Hunger Relief Partner

Meet Helen Cummins, a professional who, after retiring from two successful careers with Delta Airlines and the State of Georgia, started a third career as the Director of the Beloved Community Development Corporation. As Helen explains, “I’ve always worked. So being able to direct people to receive help – the unsheltered, those in need of services – this is what I do. And that’s why the Beloved community became a good fit.”

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Meet Bill Stack, CJ Farmer Partner

In the mountains of northeast Georgia lies an old apple orchard which has been weathering the passage of time since the 1930s. For the past six or seven autumns, Concrete Jungle has been bringing volunteers to the orchard to shake the trees and collect the falling fruit. With the exception of some snacks while we work, every pound harvested goes to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia to meet the needs of folks facing food insecurity.

On a recent Concrete Jungle pick, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Farmer Bill Stack. Bill has been tending to this land for over four decades. As we strolled through the orchard, he plucked ripe pears from the trees, offering me one to snack on while we chatted. “Have you had a persimmon?” he asked, recalling the tangy surprise that unripe persimmons could bring.

While Bill raised his family and ran his law practice amidst the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, this orchard had been a welcome getaway from city life since 1983. The farm’s history is as fascinating as Bill’s own journey. Two businessmen built the house next door in the 1930s, complete with dedicated telephone lines, a luxury before the age of cell phones. Shortly after, they hired an orange grower named Drew Massey, who was fed up with the hurricane seasons and difficulties growing fruit in Florida. Drew planted the apple trees, and his legacy continues through generations, with his descendent Sterling Massey now managing the orchard.

As we chatted, a family from Atlanta arrived to purchase Asian pears, and Bill exchanged pleasantries with them as they loaded their car with the fruit. They inquired about the smaller size of the pears this year, to which Bill advised with a smile, “Just close your eyes and chew, and it’ll taste the same.”

After the family continued on their way, I asked how long Bill had known about Concrete Jungle. “Oh six, seven years ago,” he began, “they’ve been taking apples ever since.” When asked about his decision to share fruit with Concrete Jungle, Bill’s answer was straightforward: “It just made sense.”

When you donate to Concrete Jungle, you’re planting a seed for a more equitable and nourished Georgia. Your gift increases fresh food access and builds a joyful community committed to caring for each other and the earth. Support us this #GivingTuesday and watch our impact grow.


Meet Adrianna, Concrete Jungle’s Atlanta Branch Manager

Meet Adrianna, our Branch Manager. They first learned about Concrete Jungle through their own food justice activities. Though they never had the opportunity to volunteer with CJ before joining staff, they were impressed by our reputation in the food justice community. Adriana is passionate about the CJ mission as it overlaps with several facets of their own personal passion for food access. “The amount of produce we move and communities we serve is inspirational”, they say. 

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Meet Rach, Concrete Jungle’s Operations Manager

Meet Rach, our Operations Manager. Rach was first introduced to CJ when she applied for the Operations Manager position. She was surprised to find when she mentioned CJ to friends, many had already heard of us. (fate, amiright?) Once she’d started at the CJ, she quickly fell for the CJ team describing them as “some of the best people I’ve ever met”. She appreciates how the CJ team has the ability to transform everyday tasks into an enjoyable adventure. Knowing how her work benefits the community is also very motivating. 

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2022 Annual Report

You helped us achieve big things last year and now you can read all about the fruits of your labor in our 2022 Annual Report. Our volunteers contributed 3,200+ hours of service; our donors and funders contributed $638,000 in support; and together we provided 239,000+ pounds of fresh, local produce to 21,000+ people at soup kitchens and food pantries. We hope you’ll read through our annual report with pride for being a part of this incredible community. It is because of you – our volunteers, donors, and friends – that we have been able to achieve such big impacts. Thank you for supporting Concrete Jungle.

Meet Sheneka, CJ Board Member + Volunteer

We caught up with CJ board member and volunteer Sheneka White after she finished leading a flying dragon fruit juicing session at the Edgewood Community Learning Garden. Whenever there’s a unique volunteer opportunity for Concrete Jungle, she steps up to help. 

Sheneka grew up around “farm to table people,” gardening with her dad and grandma, and eating her mom’s delicious chicken bog (a “super-specific and super-regional” specialty from her part of South Carolina). Now, she serves on both the Community Engagement Committee and the Board of Directors for Concrete Jungle, but she still finds time to go to fruit picks and farm days. “I like the people I’ve met,” she shares. “I always end up having a good conversation at events.”

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Meet Julie: CJ Volunteer

As we approach the end of the year and reflect on all that CJ has accomplished, we want to share stories from our community. Meet Julie, a new Concrete Jungle volunteer. Julie and her children first got involved with CJ at one of our adventure picks, harvesting apples in the mountains of Tiger, Georgia. 

Julie is originally from Tennessee but moved to Atlanta for a fresh start a few years ago. She volunteered with a variety of food justice initiatives around town before finding her way to Concrete Jungle. When she saw the Tiger apple pick opportunity in August, she thought it was the perfect opportunity for the whole family to get their hands dirty for a good cause. 

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Meet Ryan Bigg, CJ Partner

As we approach the end of the year and reflect on all that CJ has accomplished, we want to share stories from our community. We sat down with Ryan Bigg, Food Pantry Coordinator at Intown Collaborative Ministries (ICM) – one of CJ’s partners.  Ryan is an Atlanta native and an Emory grad. He has spent his career in nonprofit work, moving between food insecurity, homelessness services, and youth development. 

Ryan started at ICM in 2020 in the early days of the pandemic as a housing navigator. Now he works on the food programs for ICM. Ryan said the most rewarding part of the job is seeing people’s reactions and appreciations to the food they serve and prepare, “I enjoy talking to people and meeting them where they are in their journey.” We keep hearing from our partner organizations: people come for the food but they stay for the community and sense of connection. 

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