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π™‚π™π™€π™€π™π™„π™‰π™‚π™Ž π™π™π™Šπ™ˆ π™…π™π™Žπ™ π™π™Šπ™Šπ˜Ώ!
Happy New Year to our partners in the quest for healthy food options for all New Yorkers! We’re moving ahead with exciting new initiatives: Our grant project in partnership with the USDA for community garden improvements drew over 100 applications, and we’re embarking on a new chapter in our Community Chef training program. We’re updating our resources for CSAs and will soon be holding a forum for CSAs – stay tuned. And folks are taking notice: Just Food was featured on WABC7! Read on to learn about all of this and more.

Just Food is active on many fronts this winter, but we can’t do it alone. Please help us by donating whatever you can to support our CSAs, Community Chefs, farm network, and vital new programs!


π™…π™π™Žπ™ π™π™Šπ™Šπ˜Ώ π™„π™Ž 𝙄𝙉 𝙏𝙃𝙀 π™‰π™€π™’π™Ž!
Farmer Ted Blomgren, the West Harlem CSA, and Project Harmony CSA were all featured in a November 16 WABC7 Eyewitness News broadcast about Just Food’s mission to bring healthy, locally-grown produce to neighborhoods that have long been food insecure. β€œWe have been conditioned to accept the foods we have in our neighborhood,” Just Food’s Sheryll Durrant told WABC7, in a broadcast that highlighted how CSAs provide fresh options for underserved New York City communities. Watch the broadcast and read more here.

π™ˆπ™Šπ™π™€ π˜Όπ˜½π™Šπ™π™ π™π™€π˜Όπ™π™π™π™€π˜Ώ π˜Ύπ™Žπ˜Όπ™Ž:
West Harlem CSA
β€œWe work to provide healthier food choices for West Harlem residents, where options are limited and many budgets are constrained.” Ted Blomgren of Windflower Farm is their farmer.

Project Harmony
Also in Harlem, Project Harmony has been active in community revitalization since 1985 and a member of the Just Food network since 2008. Their farmer is Claudio Gonzalez, an immigrant farmer in Orange County, NY.

π™…π™π™Žπ™ π™π™Šπ™Šπ˜Ώ π˜Όπ™‰π˜Ώ π™„π™π˜Ύ/𝙉𝙔 𝙉𝙀𝙒 π™π™Šπ™Šπ™π™Ž π™‹π™π™Šπ™‚π™π˜Όπ™ˆ
Have you always wanted to be a chef? Do you love to educate friends and neighbors about healthy food? The new Just Food Community Chef training program might be for you!

With the help of a grant in partnership with IRC/NY New Roots Program, Just Food will be providing community members with workshops blending two of its missions: Community Chef training and Training of Trainers. Starting in the spring of 2024, the workshops will happen over the next two years, as New Roots expands programming at its community garden in Queens.

Addressing food insecurity caused by lack of access to affordable, nutritious food and high unemployment, the new community chefs will be equipped to educate community members about healthy eating in addition to learning marketable skills.

The IRC/NY New Roots grant features two long-time Just Food initiatives. Through the Community Chef program, trainees will learn to conduct cooking demonstrations with easy techniques featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables from local farms and community gardens, incorporating them into nutritionally and culturally rich, plant-based dishes. Additionally, through the Training of Trainers framework, participants will become food justice advocates and educators within their own communities, with effective tools to engage and practice while organizing, designing, and facilitating workshops.

Based in Queens’s diverse BIPOC and immigrant communities, the educational and training opportunities provided in this partnership will help neighbors launch and sustain their own local food hub and gain access to New York City’s ever-growing networks for agriculture and food justice. Interested in learning more? Email infoccnewroots@justfood.org.

𝙏𝙃𝙀 π™‹π™€π™Šπ™‹π™‡π™€’π™Ž π™‚π˜Όπ™π˜Ώπ™€π™‰ π™„π™‰π™„π™π™„π˜Όπ™π™„π™‘π™€
Over the past few months, Just Food has been working closely with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the 2023 People’s Garden Initiative (PGI). Under this initiative, funding totalling $150,000 is being distributed to community gardens across New York City. The funding is targeted towards material upgrades such as beds, irrigation, and supplies. In alignment with our mission, Just Food is using this opportunity to highlight gardens located within underserved neighborhoods, as well as gardens that have historically been passed over by similar initiatives.

On November 8th, Just Food and the USDA held an informational forum for potential applicants. During the forum, community garden members were given further information about the initiative and were able to ask questions and share ideas. The application deadline was December 1st and we received an overwhelming response of over 100 applications. As we review the applications, we are very excited to hear about the work gardens across the city have done, and continue to do.

New York City is one of 17 cities included in the People’s Garden Program. A brick-and-mortar USDA urban agriculture office is scheduled to open in New York City in the spring of 2024. We would like to thank all of the incredible community gardens who applied for the 2023 PGI funding. We are very appreciative that the initiative has been so well received.

𝙂𝙀𝙏 π™π™€π˜Όπ˜Ώπ™” π™π™Šπ™ π™π˜Όπ™π™ˆ2π™Žπ˜Ύπ™ƒπ™Šπ™Šπ™‡!
Just Food is delighted to participate in a new program administered by the Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture (MOUA) and funded by the USDA and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM). In addition to providing agricultural education programming, the program will increase local food procurement of socially disadvantaged farmers and producers and establish learning gardens at public school sites across the city.

“The earlier young people learn about the importance of sustainable agriculture and its connection to nutrition and well-being, the greater our strides toward eliminating food disparities and building more resilient communities,” said Just Food board member Sia Pickett. “These grant programs are another step towards a healthier future for New York City.”

𝘼 π™‰π™Šπ™π™€ π™π™π™Šπ™ˆ 𝙏𝙃𝙀 π˜Ύπ™Žπ˜Ό π˜Όπ˜Ώπ™‘π™„π™Žπ™Šπ™π™” π˜Ύπ™Šπ™ˆπ™ˆπ™„π™π™π™€π™€: π™…π™π™Žπ™ π™π™Šπ™Šπ˜Ώ π˜Ύπ˜Όπ™‰ 𝙃𝙀𝙇𝙋!

If you’re a CSA core member who wants to learn more about how to keep a core group active and welcoming to new members and ideas, you’ll want to attend our virtual CSA Forum on February 12! We’ll send out more information soon – or email us at advisory@justfood.org to be sure you’re on our CSA mailing list.


β€’ A vegetable farmer looking for help setting up CSA locations in New York City?
β€’ A farmer/vendor offering fruit, eggs, dairy, pantry products, meat, mushrooms, etc. who’s hoping to partner with existing CSA locations in the city?
β€’ A neighborhood group that wants to find a CSA farmer for your New York City community?
β€’ A CSA core group looking for help with payment/banking, add-on shares, SNAP/EBT payments, raising funds, recruiting members and/or volunteers, or other issues involving your CSA?

Just Food can help! Email us at advisory@justfood.org and we will get back to you soon!

π™Žπ™π˜Όπ™” π™π™π™‰π™€π˜Ώ π™π™Šπ™ π™ˆπ™Šπ™π™€!
In our next issue, we’ll have more exciting information about our continued partnerships with Farm Generation and GrowNYC.