Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Farms in the Projects? (Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund)
You wouldn’t expect to find a vegetable farm at a public housing development in New York City. But a one-acre farm at Red Hook Houses—the first-ever large farm on New York City Housing Authority property—is growing cabbage, collard greens, butternut squash and basil. Soon, new urban farms will sprout on five more NYCHA properties in Brownsville and Canarsie in Brooklyn, East Harlem, the Bronx and Staten Island.
These new farms will increase access to fresh produce in communities with high levels of poverty, food insecurity and diet-related diseases, while also serving as hubs for education, community engagement, and job training for residents. The workers will be supplied by Green City Force, a nationally recognized AmeriCorps program that recruits and trains 18- to 24-year-old NYCHA residents and pays them to work on environmental sustainability and energy-efficiency programs at Housing Authority sites. These young people gain rigorous job training and career planning support that propels them into jobs.
It’s an innovative strategy to address very tough issues that limit opportunities for New Yorkers in low-income neighborhoods. . .