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box of health fruits and vegetables

Community Public Health Professor Makes Access to Healthy Foods Her Mission

In the past, if you didn’t see assistant professor Jennifer Russomanno in the classroom teaching Community Public Health classes in the Department of Public Health at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, you might have found her at one of the local farmers markets. It was a place where Jennifer, along with her partner Kim Bryant, offered healthy, organic foods at reasonable prices. But after teaching full-time at UT and then spending all her free time at the markets, things began to take a toll.

Jennifer Russomanno believes everyone has the right to have access to healthy, affordable food sources. After receiving her PhD in Public Health at UT, Russomanno remains active in the community. She is currently serving on the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council and is a member of the Building Health Communities Committee, where she sees the need first-hand.

Starting as a hobby in 2012, Russomanno and Bryant have owned and operated Two Chicks and a Farm, where they focus on healthy, organic food sources at reasonable pricing. Their business expanded into a second full-time job making their work-life balance overwhelming. With the pandemic and the demand for healthy food increasing, the ability to provide their food was limited.

The two farmers seized an opportunity when presented to them by MarketWagon, joining the online farmer’s market. MarketWagon allows them to offer and distribute goods to a larger territory, increasing their reach to East Tennesseans with limited access to local affordable and healthy organic foods.

Read more about Russomanno’s hobby-turned-second-career in this article featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel.