On July 11th, Sprout Farms’ East Williamsburg Youthmarket (located at Grand Street and Graham Avenue) held its grand opening. Sprout Farms, which promotes school gardening in New York, received a 2013 Change by Us mini-grant to help open the market in partnership with GrowNYC.
The Youthmarket employs student staff, who sell fresh local produce in the market, and in some cases have even helped grow the produce themselves. Students will learn entrepreneurship skills this summer while supporting local farmers and sharing the benefits of eating healthy, sustainable local food with the whole community.
The market also supports the New York City Department of Health’s Health Bucks program. New Yorkers receiving food stamps will earn $2 in Health Bucks, which can be used at any participating farmer’s market in New York City, for every $5 in food stamps spent at the Youthmarket.
For pictures from the opening day, please visit our Tumblr. You can also check out additional highlights on Sprout Farms’ website. The Youthmarket will be open every Thursday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. through November.
Friday morning, students from the Center for Family Life summer program visited the 64th St Community Garden to learn about the insects and other bugs that call gardens home, and to pick flowers from the garden to make their very own bouquets. You can check out our Tumblr for photos from the students’ day at the garden.
Located in Sunset Park, the 64th St Community Garden has been a fixture of the neighborhood for more than ten years, providing an urban green space and community gathering place where a dumping ground once sat. The garden was recently awarded a Change by Us grant to help build a new greenhouse that will be completed in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more photos on our Tumblr!
Get your application in for Farm School NYC’s fall course selections!
Farm School NYC trains New Yorkers in urban agriculture in order to strengthen grassroots efforts that increase access to healthy, sustainable food while also promoting social, economic, and racial justice. In addition to its two-year Urban Agriculture Program, Farm School NYC also offers a range of individual courses on subjects from urban planting techniques to grassroots community organizing.
The 2013 fall individual course application deadline is Monday, July 15. Visit Just Food’s website for more information and to apply.
Cool roofs are popping up all over the city and pretty soon every New Yorker will be composting at home, but there are simple things you can work into your summer activities now to help our city stay green and clean for the future. Consider these tips as you head into the holiday weekend:
1. If you like a good 4th of July barbeque, consider investing in an electric grill instead of burning charcoal in order to reduce air pollution.
2. Having a party (or parties) this summer? Skip the individual bottles and cans and use pitchers for beverages, refilling them as needed.
4. If you want to cool off even more without turning up the AC, shut off unnecessary lights and appliances. Only 10 percent of the energy a light uses is actually converted to light (the rest produces heat).
5. Laundry piling up may actually be a good thing—it’s always best to run your washing machine and dryer only when you have full loads to do.
6. To stay hydrated no matter where you go, trade disposable plastic bottles for a sturdy refillable one and download the NYC Water app to find NYC Water-On-the-Go fountains (and refreshing, FREE water) all around the city.
7. Summer is the perfect season to buy fresh, seasonal produce. Check out GrowNYC for local farmers market locations and support sustainable food.
8. If you want to add a little green to our city but haven’t reached the home gardening stage, use the Change by Us calendar to find upcoming community garden workshops, tree planting opportunities, and other beginner-friendly events in your neighborhood.
Try out easy changes like these and together we can make a big impact on our environment!
Community organizations looking to promote nutrition education and access to affordable, healthy food in their neighborhoods can now apply to distribute Health Bucks for residents to use at NYC farmers’ markets during the program’s 2013 season starting in July.
Offered by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Health Bucks helps New Yorkers buy fresh and affordable produce while supporting local farmers. Local farmers’ markets that accept food stamps will also offer customers one Health Buck coupon (worth $2 each) for every $5 spent using food stamps. Health Bucks are redeemable at any food-stamp accepting farmers’ market in the city.
Groups interested in participating in the Health Bucks program by distributing the vouchers themselves can download the Health Bucks distribution application and instructions here. Quantities are limited, and applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis with a priority deadline of June 30, 2013. For more information on Health Bucks and other farmers’ market-based Health Department programs, you may visit their website.
Volunteer groups have been instrumental to post-Hurricane Sandy recovery throughout the five boroughs, and now groups have a new funding opportunity to help them achieve their goals.
Citizens Committee for New York City will award $2,000 grants to support volunteer-led hurricane relief efforts that address hurricane-related damage to community spaces like waterfronts, sidewalks, school grounds, community gardens, and parks.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through Thursday, August 1. Visit the CCNYC website to learn more and to download the application. Have questions? Contact Saleen at 212-822-9566 or email@example.com for more info.
This past Friday, Green Ramadan NYC held a public orientation event in lower Manhattan to promote healthy living in New York’s Muslim communities.
Green Ramadan, which will sponsor Iftar dinners at mosques throughout the Bronx during next month’s observance, gave residents tips on healthy eating during Ramadan and throughout the rest of the year, and also offered information on buying locally-grown food, food preparation safety, and ways to stay active. From loading your plate with vegetables to taking brisk walks, Green Ramadan NYC hopes to encourage people to eat smart and get moving.
This past Saturday, the Crown Heights-Prospect Heights Food Allies hosted a screening of Who Controls Your Food? Stories from Venezuela to Brooklyn, a documentary about the recent food justice movement in Venezuela and its goal of improving the health of Venezuelans in poorer regions.
A 2013 Change by Us grant recipient, Crown Heights-Prospect Heights Food Allies used this weekend’s documentary as a starting point to discuss how Brooklyn residents can take more ownership of their own food supply and support a more sustainable system by participating in community gardens, joining local farm shares, or growing food at home. The post-screening discussion was led by Venezuelan activist William Camacaro and Eric-Michael Rodriguez from the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn.
Event attendees were also treated to free, fresh, locally-grown food that fueled engaging pre- and post-film conversations between neighbors about how to promote healthier, sustainable food options in their community.
We’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Change by Us mini-grants! We received dozens of applications from projects all over the city that support NYC’s goals surrounding access to healthy food, and after much deliberation, we’ve chosen a terrific group to take their projects to the next level. The next few months should bring a lot of exciting news from our grant recipients, and we can’t wait to see these neighborhood initiatives take off.
Read more about this year’s grant program in the official press release, and check out the full list of CBU grant winners below. Congratulations to all those selected!
2013 CHANGE BY US NYC GRANT WINNERS
462 Halsey Community Garden (Bedford-Stuyvesant): will expand the garden’s offerings by introducing weekly potlucks using produce from the garden to promote healthy eating and shared family meals while further building community ties in the neighborhood. ($1500)
64th St Community Garden (Sunset Park): will renovate and enhance its greenhouse, shed, and plant beds to increase opportunities for neighborhood families to grow their own fruits and vegetables. ($1000)
Baychester Middle School Healthy Initiative (Edenwald): will expand its Cornell Cooking Program, administered in partnership with the Cornell University Cooperative Extension, to offer more students the opportunity for hands-on activities that promote healthier food choices and physical activity. ($2500)
Community Center of Immigrants (Washington Heights): will start a community vegetable garden to provide more fresh vegetables and herbs to the CCI food pantry, which serves more than 3,000 local families every month. ($2000)
Crown Heights Farm Share Healthy Food Ambassador Program (Crown Heights): will increase the number of low-income and African-American Crown Heights residents participating in the farm share by engaging community members in outreach and expanding assistance for low-income households. ($1900)
Crown Heights/Prospect Heights Food Allies (Crown Heights/Prospect Heights): will host “Food Sovereignty: From Venezuela to Brooklyn,” an interactive event that will educate residents on global food systems and their impact on health and hunger in the local community and encourage them to participate in neighborhood gardens, join farm shares, or grow food at home. ($1675)
Dutch Kills Community Garden (Long Island City): will turn a northern Dutch Kills vacant lot into a community garden featuring composting, a children’s plot, and chicken coop. ($1500)
Green Ramadan NYC (New York City): will sponsor Iftar dinners with locally-farmed food during the month of Ramadan. Based at mosques throughout the Bronx, the dinners will feature student-led presentations on healthy eating, the importance of supporting local farmers, and instruction about composting and recycling. ($2500)
Hattie Carthan Community Garden (Bedford-Stuyvesant): will re-launch its innovative juicing program offering free juicing and smoothies, as well as fresh vegetable bundles available for purchase in its farmers market. ($2200)
Maggie’s Garden (East Harlem): will hold workshops for neighborhood residents on sprouting, juicing and ethno-botanical uses of the community garden’s crops. The garden will also create raised plant beds to make gardening more accessible for older residents and people with physical disabilities. ($1990)
PS 9 PTO Gardening Committee (Prospect Heights): will add more plant beds and a rain collection system to its garden so that students can grow produce for the school’s CookShop Classroom, which uses hands-on exploration and cooking activities to promote healthy food. ($700)
St. Nicholas Miracle Garden (Central Harlem): will create the St. Nicholas Miracle Garden Schoolhouse to provide the communities of Central and West Harlem with a full menu of engaging outdoor workshops this summer on topics from sustainability and green living to gardening and nutrition. The group will also add a rainwater system to improve water supply for its vertical bottle gardens. ($485)
South Brooklyn Children’s Garden (Columbia Waterfront): will establish an educational outreach program and strengthen the garden’s infrastructure by improving irrigation and soil health. ($2000)
Sprout Farms (East Williamsburg): will work with GrowNYC to start a summer Youth Market operated by high school student interns under the guidance of a market manager. The market will sell food supplied from Sprout’s Gaynor Campus vegetable garden and fresh, local produce purchased wholesale from area farms and will also offer cooking and nutrition demonstrations. ($1000)
Transforming Our Health by Eating Healthy Community Garden Project (Central Harlem): will plant herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables in a plot of the Skyward Community Garden of the Fred Samuel Association Inc. and offer shared meals and nutrition classes that encourage families to adopt healthier eating habits and activities. ($700)
The Urban Rebuilding Initiative’s Urban Community Food Project (Mott Haven): will build a second greenhouse at its first farm location in order to provide healthy, organic produce for neighborhood food pantries and soup kitchens. The farm will also host “Healthy Living is Healthy Eating” workshops on nutrition and finding resources for healthier eating. ($2000)
Williamsburg Preparatory High School (Williamsburg): will expand its Cardinal Garden to create more opportunities for the school’s students, who hail from the Bushwick and East New York communities, to participate and learn about the importance of healthy eating. ($2000)
Thanks for applying for a 2013 Change by Us mini-grant! The application period of the process is now closed, and your submitted applications will be evaluated by the CBU team and grant committee. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions later this month. Thanks again for participating—we can’t wait to learn more about all the fantastic projects that have applied.
To check out (and join!) some of these new initiatives, visit the Featured Projects section on our homepage.