The Food Justice movement is critical to improving the health and overall well-being of low-income communities across the country. The goal is not only to increase access to nutritional food, but also to provide nutrition education, strengthen social networks, and create jobs.
The New York Women’s Foundation’s grantee partner, East New York Farms! (ENYF), an urban agricultural project of United Community Centers, an organization that has served East New York, Brooklyn for over 60 years, has been a key leader in this movement nationwide. In partnership with EcoStation: NY of Bushwick, they have led the organization of a Northeast Youth Food Justice Network. They recently convened over 150 youth from 10 different food justice projects, in an effort to continue building out the youth leadership of this movement.
Last fall, I visited ENYF and met with David Vigil, the Project Director of ENYF as well as a fellow gardener, Pauline, and the youth interns that assist the gardeners. It was incredible to see East New York Farms’ intergenerational model in action. Elderly gardeners are partnered with local youth to sell their harvest, increasing access to affordable urban-grown food for local residents. The program generates supplemental income for older gardeners, provides local youth with a paid internship and the opportunity to engage in a hands-on learning about farming and food justice. Watch the video below to see ENYF in action!
This article was originally published in The Huffington Post on 7/29/16.