Another great program from MARP! Here's the press release: Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project Receives Community Experience Partnership Grant to Fund Food Access Initiative Weekly Thursday Farm Stand Kicks Off on July 8th from 4-7pm in Front of Ingersoll Community Center
FORT GREENE and CLINTON HILL, BROOKLYN, June 29, 2010—The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC (MARP) received a three-year grant through the ‘Community Experience Partnership’ to support and expand its Food Access Initiative. The $210,000 grant over 3 years will support projects under MARP’s new Myrtle Eats Fresh program, which aims to engage community members of all ages in activities to improve access to healthy, affordable food on Myrtle Avenue, and in the surrounding neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Projects include a community-run farm stand, creating and expanding community gardens on public housing grounds, a community chef program, and the formation of a hyper-local food policy task force.
The Community Experience Partnership (CEP), a national initiative, aims to support projects that specifically engage the talents and energy of older adults for the benefit of their communities. In New York City, The Atlantic Philanthropies is partnering with the New York Community Trust and United Neighborhood Houses of New York (UNH) to develop new program models that engage older adults to increase access to healthy food in low-income communities. “Over the last few years, older adults in Ingersoll and Whitman Houses have emerged as natural leaders in local efforts to get more fresh food in the neighborhood. We are thrilled to be able to support this trend by establishing community-based projects that address the serious need for more fresh food options on Myrtle Avenue,” commented Michael Blaise Backer, Executive Director of MARP.
With the CEP grant, MARP has hired Kassy Nystrom, formerly of GrowNYC, to manage and expand programs under its food access initiative, which started with seed funding from the Brooklyn Community Foundation in 2008 with the founding of the Fort Greene CSA, and grew to include the creation of the Ingersoll Garden of Eden in 2009. Myrtle Eats Fresh will expand that community garden, built in collaboration with Ingersoll residents, and start new gardens at both Whitman and Farragut in the following years. A community-run farm stand will be held every Thursday in front of the Ingersoll Community Center (177 Myrtle Avenue) from 4pm-7pm from July 8th through October 28th, and will be staffed by three youth and two elders from the neighborhood. MARP has also launched a ‘Community Chef’ program, whereby several residents who have a passion for healthy cooking have been trained as certified Community Chefs and will now conduct cooking demonstrations at neighborhood events. In fall 2010, MARP will begin the process of forming a neighborhood ‘Healthy Food Task Force’, bringing together representatives from interested organizations and other groups to help synergize efforts around improving food access in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.