Community to cleanup Napier Heights neighborhood

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Community leaders believe a neglected Macon neighborhood needs more attention.

“For so long, they’re so used to our neighborhoods being ignored and being glossed over,” Christopher Berry stated. “People come in and say they’re doing what they’re doing but we have very little results.”

The Napier Heights Food Co-Op hosts a community cleanup Saturday.

Organizer Nancy Cleveland, says the cleanups will show people living in the area what the co-op group can do for them.

“We think that these events will promote pride in the community and help spread the word about our co-op coming in the future and also get neighbors more involved,” Cleveland said.

After the Kroger on Vineville Avenue closed two years ago, the Napier Heights area has become a food desert. The group hopes to change that by restoring the area and bringing fresh food through community gardens.

Andrea Cooke lives in Napier Heights. She says the gardens will come once the group has established a relationship with the community. For now, she wants people in the area to recognize and support their goals.

“We want to show people that we’re trying to bring them better food but that we actually care too.”

The cleanup will start at 9 a.m. and will involve picking up trash and pulling weeds. Cooke says the cleanups will serve as a segway to other projects.

“We’re introducing people to the co-op through the cleanups and consistent presence in the neighborhoods,” Cooke said. “Then we’re going to do popup markets so we can start providing food for people, healthy food options before we have a brick and mortar.

To join the cleanup Saturday, the group will meet at ZBeans in Macon at 8:45 a.m. Volunteers must bring masks and practice social distancing.

The cleanups take place every second and fourth Saturday of each month. Follow the Napier Heights Food Co-Op Facebook page for the details of each cleanup.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.