Giving Compass' Take:
- Ben Brachfeld explains how The Campaign Against Hunger is combatting food inequality by building urban farms in majority-Black communities.
- What role can you play in increasing access to healthy, culturally appropriate food in under-served communities?
- Learn how food banks are shifting to combat root causes of food insecurity.
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Citing food inequity among the borough’s minority population, a local nonprofit has opened an urban farm in Brownsville to provide healthy food to the local community, which suffers from high rates of diseases resulting from poor diet.
The 5,000-square-foot harvesting lot, dubbed “The Eastern Parkway Farm,” marks The Campaign Against Hunger’s second urban farm in Brooklyn, and sits on its namesake parkway between Pitkin and Howard avenues
The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH) also has a farm in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the Saratoga Urban Agro-Ecological Center, which opened in 2009, along with several other food-based initiatives around the city — like another farm in Queens, a food pantry in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a food distribution center at a Canarsie soundstage donated by the production company Broadway Stages during the pandemic, and a mobile farmer’s market called “Fresh Vibes” that travels across the city in a specially-designed truck carrying fresh produce.
“People thought I had lost my mind,” said Melony Samuels, CEO and founder of TCAH, at the opening ceremony for Eastern Parkway Farm on Thursday. “They had said it’s not possible that individuals would want to barter or get rid of the canned food and the sweets and the sugar and the salt and everything else. And that’s what birthed the idea of farming, and we were the first organization to have from farm to table.”
All three of the areas where the nonprofit has farms are majority-Black, a reflection on the group’s goal to reduce inequities in access to healthy food that leave Black New Yorkers at higher risk of diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, and brought about by unhealthy eating.
Read the full article about The Campaign Against Hunger by Ben Brachfeld at Brooklyn Paper.