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This Thursday, 4:00 pm — Food Justice Panel at Dwight Hall

January 25, 2010

During his cooking demo and Master’s Tea, Bryant Terry talked about the spread of “food deserts” in America, urban areas that are isolated from the grocery stores and farmer’s markets that many of us take for granted, where the primary sources of food are often corner stores or bodegas that don’t sell fresh produce. We’ll continue that discussion this Thursday, January 28, at 4:00 pm in Yale’s Dwight Hall with a panel on food justice. We’ll learn about food access, nutrition, and affordability, as well as efforts to improve food justice in New Haven and New York. Here’s a little more information on our guests, Ian Marvy of Added Value in Brooklyn, Jacquie Berger of Just Food in New York City, and Billy Bromage of Harvest Haven here in New Haven.

A Farm Grows in Brooklyn
Ian Marvy co-founded Added Value, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged Brooklyn youth by providing work opportunities at their 3-acre farm in Red Hook, South Brooklyn. The farm, which grows over 40 different crops, is tended by volunteers from the community, and the farm’s harvest is sold exclusively at the Red Hook Farmer’s Market, opened after the area’s only grocery was suddenly closed. The food desert solution, in this case, is to not only provide fresh produce, but also the means by which to grow it.

Just(-ice) Food
As Executive Director of Just Food, Jacquie Berger helps improve New York City residents’ access to fresh, locally grown produce in a variety of ways. By managing the nearly 100 different New York-area CSAs (“Community-Supported Agriculture,” programs that connect consumers directly to farmers for a full season’s worth of harvest), Just Food helps bring both nutrition to urban New Yorkers, and a guaranteed income to local farmers. In addition, they support urban farms and community gardens in the city proper, teach cooking classes on how to use fresh produce, are active in the policy decisions being made in New York, and last but not least connect local farmers with a variety of food banks and shelters to make sure that nothing goes to waste. What a list!

New Haven, Fellowship Haven
In addition to his work at New Haven’s Fellowship Place, a treatment shelter for the homeless and mentally ill, Billy Bromage helps provide access to local food through the Harvest Haven program. It’s easy to forget that food deserts can be found in our own backyard here in New Haven.

The panel promises to be fascinating — with a variety of guests, whose work ranges from truly local to statewide, it’ll be so exciting to learn about how we can help improve some of the food access problems so prevalent in our urban areas.

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