Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo (GGB) is thrilled to announce that it has secured funding from the USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to support the Buffalo Neighborhood Food Project- a collaborative effort of GGB and Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) to bring food to neighborhood youth and low-income residents in Buffalo, NY.
This project has four main goals:
1) To increase the self-reliance of our community in providing for our own food needs
2) To meet the food needs of low income youth and families in Buffalo
3) To advocate for policy in support of food system development
4) To create a comprehensive and replicable school garden program connecting students to food The Buffalo Neighborhood Food Project (BNFP) is an opportunity to capitalize on GGB’s citywide work with community residents and MAP’s successful track record improving food security and working with youth, as well as current opportunities to scale-up food production efforts in Buffalo and impact public policy as it relates to urban food production. Increasing Food Access and Empowering Citizens Through the BNFP, Grassroots Gardens and MAP will aim to increase access to fresh, healthy produce by:
Working with Community Gardens on individual grow plans
Providing training and materials for lead gardeners, educators and youth
Selling and Distributing farm produce and fish through MAP's Farm Stand and Mobile Market
Involving youth and community members in advocacy efforts related to food policy
Creating a "Guide to School Gardening in Buffalo"
Increasing linkages through food preparation and preservation, urban growing and composting workshops
In recent years GGB has seen a growing interest from residents and school communities in starting food producing community gardens, as well as a significant increase in requests for training and education. The number of community gardens supported by GGB increased by 25% in 2011 and 13% in 2012. As the only organization that facilitates and supports community gardens in Buffalo, the demand for GGB’s services and expertise continues to increase.
Since 2003, the MAP has worked to build the foundation of a community food system through its work with low-income residents and youth, mainly on Buffalo’s West Side. MAP’s success in training youth, increasing access to nutritious, affordable food, and building relationships with residents, farmers and schools has led to opportunities for expanding this work in a more comprehensive way to reach a larger constituency of Buffalo’s low-income communities.