HUNTERSVILLE – Robin Emmons’ selection to EBONY Magazine’s “Hero Next Door” feature in its May issue was more than a pleasant surprise.

“I almost thought it was a hoax,” she said.

Emmons, a Huntersville resident and the executive director and founder of Sow Much Good – a Charlotte-based organization working for food justice for those in need – earned the nod as one of 10 people for the national magazine’s inaugural feature. People Magazine discovered her work with Sow Much Good last year and featured Emmons in its’ “Heroes Among Us” section, leading EBONY to discover her efforts.

The “Heroes Next Door” section highlights people doing impactful work in their communities. Emmons founded Sow Much Good because of her passion for helping people receive better opportunities to improve their diets.

She said she never expected the attention the organization has received, much of it stemming from Charlotte CBS affiliate WBTV’s feature last year.

“They went through the process and made the choice,” Emmons said. “It’s a huge honor. It means a lot. It gives us a chance to showcase the importance of our issue and how to fix it.”

Emmons’ EBONY Magazine feature displays her movement from growing vegetables in her backyard to opening the new Urban Farm in the West Charlotte corridor on April 12. The farm will serve those without access to chemical-free produce, and is expected to include a delivery service, drop locations, eggs, honey and life skills classes.

The added benefit to the newfound celebrity is national notoriety.

“We have a very local footprint because we serve all of Mecklenburg County, but the goal is to scale up,” she said.

“I never figured we’d be able to discuss expansion. This has given us a brand and raised awareness all over the country.”

Sow Much Good has no paid employees. All work is volunteer-driven.

The attention, Emmons said, has given way to more volunteers, which enhances the organization’s ability to help more people.

“It’s been great,” she said. “I value people over profit.”

Bretinsa Harris, who volunteered last year, said the feature is a major plus.

“Others need to hear Robin’s story and try to make a difference for people who don’t have access,” she said.