The Mover and Shaker: Yasmeen Salaam
Yasmeen Salaam grew up in California with a grandmother who grew potatoes and raised chickens at home. When Salaam moved to Macon County, Alabama to study supply chain management at nearby Tuskegee University, “it dawned on me that I would have to travel 60 miles per week—that’s 30 miles going to Auburn and 30 miles back—just to get fresh produce,” she says. All those farms but hardly any fresh and local produce in the local Piggly Wiggly and Calhoun grocery stores. When she moved to Atlanta after graduation, Salaam ran into the same frustration, so in February 2016, she launched Carver’s Produce to address the failing systems on both ends: With biweekly delivery service to restaurants, retailers, and individual households, she can provide small farmers with new distribution channels and bring fruits and vegetables to food-desert communities. Last March, Salaam won an inaugural fellowship from the Sara Blakely Foundation and the Center for Civic Innovation, which means that she and nine other female social entrepreneurs will receive business development training and the financial support to grow, grow, grow.