ATE’s Inaugural Grantees: PS 84 PTA and Corbin Hill Food Project
October 1, 2014 by Helaine Geismar Katz
Fighting for Greater Food Security Across New York City
It feels poignant that we’re announcing our inaugural grantees as fall transforms New York City, ushering in a bountiful harvest, renewed focus on a healthier back-to-school and so much promise for greater food security across the five boroughs.
This has been an amazing time. In just one year since the launch of Ample Table for Everyone, we reviewed an astounding 57 applications. In the end, we unanimously selected two programs we believe will make a difference in the lives of the one in five New Yorkers living with food insecurity.
We believe these organizations possess the vision and leadership to assure success. In addition to offering creative and practical solutions to address the obstacles to food security—lack of time, money and access to healthy foods, as well as unfamiliarity with nutritious and affordable foods and cooking methods—these projects are both scalable and replicable so their impact may ultimately be felt even beyond their own organizations.
Our next grant cycle begins in January 2015. Organizations are encouraged to visit our website to learn more about our application process. And, if you’re not already doing so, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter @ATENYC.
A diverse elementary school with an involved PTA, PS 84 has a flourishing 4,000 square foot rooftop garden that exposes its urban student population to fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs they might not otherwise find at home. The garden program, however, has not had the resources to teach students what to DO with the vegetables they’ve grown… until now.
With help from ATE, the program will be expanded to teach students how to cultivate their own home gardens, incorporate more affordable, seasonal and local foods into their family meals, and make healthier food choices, thus improving their own health and well-being—and the food security of their families.
The program includes three distinct parts: 1) Cooking classes for the entire school; 2) ‘Seventh Period Seasonal Salad Snack for Second Graders’ which will teach the basics of nutrition and meal preparation with students’ hauls from the garden followed by a classroom meal together; and 3) “Fifth Grade Nutrition Bootcamp” which will help prepare graduating students to make better food choices.
The mission of Corbin Hill Food Project is to supply fresh vegetables and fruit where they are needed most. Founded in 2009 by a committed group of Harlem residents, Corbin Hill Food Project has grown into a dynamic network of local farmers; deeply rooted community health, education, environmental and service groups; and more than 1,000 participating individuals in Harlem, Washington Heights and the Bronx—many living in ‘food deserts.’
The Farm Share offers members seasonal deliveries of fresh, healthy, sustainably grown vegetables and fruit along with flexible payment options, the ability to put share(s) on ‘vacation,’ and payment with SNAP (or Food Stamps) benefits. These seemingly small tweaks on the traditional CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)model have made healthy food access possible for thousands of people.
However, since many low-income families do not own computers, access has its limitations. Through a grant from ATE, Corbin Hill Food Project will develop ‘Tech Veggie,’ a web-based accounting and communications system that will enable members to order, pay and access recipes and nutrition information via their Smart Phones. The software will then be made available to other organizations, enabling Corbin Hill to scale up and impact the health and well-being of the children, families and communities of New York City and beyond.