New York City High School Students Petition For Food Literacy Program - Read Their Appeal Below
Youth in New York City are faced with a unique challenge: to try to make good food choices while navigating a complex urban food system. New York City offers everything from corner stores to multi-level gourmet groceries and everything in between. It takes a savvy shopper to make responsible, healthy choices on a budget. The choices we make not only impact our wellbeing, but also that of our communities. People, especially youth, need to be informed about the options and their significance, but unfortunately, as of now we lack a formal setting for learning about this.
When I first became involved in Dekalb Market, a new local shopping venue in Downtown Brooklyn, part of the discussion was building the perfect urban farm stand. As a farmer, I understood the many hurdles facing small farms in establishing themselves in city markets: time constraints, long commutes in and out of the city at ungodly hours, establishing oneself in the flush Greenmarket. For Dekalb’s purposes there would be the added hurdle of stocking a seven-day-a-week operation with “fresh-from-the–farm” produce. The developers of Dekalb Market approached several larger grocers to try fill this void before stumbling upon Plovgh.com.
What initially appealed to me about Plovgh is their purpose: they function primarily as an online Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) alternative and farm-stand. Their model can work because they understand the hurdles farmers face in meeting their markets and have created an extremely user-friendly process for both farmers and veggie-hungry consumers.
The Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFPCGP) has existed since 1996 as a program to fight food insecurity through developing community food projects that help promote the self-sufficiency of low-income communities. Community Food Projects are designed to increase food security in communities by bringing the whole food system together to assess strengths, establish linkages, and create systems that improve the self-reliance of community members over their food needs. The program is designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals by increasing their access to fresher, more nutritious food, increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs, and promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues.
I sat down with Jennifer Sugg, CSA manager, and Apolonia Euvin, member of the Lower Eastside Girls Club and part of the CSA team, to talk about how they have used the Community Food Project (CFP) grant and the impact it has had on their community.
Q: What are the mission and goals of the Lower East Side Girls Club and how does the Community Food Project fit into your mission?
An Evening with Freegan.info in NYC by Hans Bernier
How much food do we waste? The statistics state that around 15 - 50% of the food produced in this country ends up being thrown away. As author Jonathan Bloom estimates in American Wasteland, even if we were to employ a conservative estimate, that means that every American throws away around five pounds of trash a day, totaling over 160 billion pounds a year for the nation. The disparity in this 15 - 50% estimate is itself evidence of the growing disconnect between the farm, our plate, and the wastebin. Even though food waste is part of our collective consciousness — think of an archetypal mother’s constant refrain at the dinner table: “clean your plate, there are starving children in this world” — the actuality still remains abstract; we know that our surplus food rarely goes to someone in need.
However, as I recently discovered, some folks are working to address this dilemma. In July, while at a food justice roundtable, I met a woman who identified herself as a Freegan. As described on Freegan.info, Freeganism is an alternative strategy for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.
Early last spring, ground was broken at the new Urban Farm at the Battery. The one-acre plot of land in the shape of a wild turkey that roams Battery Park in Downtown Manhattan is now the site of a flourishing organic farm. The land serves as an outdoor classroom for students of all ages from local schools. Watch this video created by students from City-As High School to hear more about their hands-on experiences with urban agriculture and what they have learned about building and growing food in the concrete city.
Submitted by Kristin Pederson on Thu, 09/09/2010 - 09:34
On Saturday, October 2, Governors Island (click for directions) will be transformed into a pork-lover's paradise. Welcome to Pig Island, a culinary festival featuring local food, NY State wines, Six Point Craft Ales, and live music -- it is guaranteed to be an amazing day out.