The Fund for Public Health in New York City (FPHNYC) has been awarded funding from the Target Corporation for the second year in a row to support Farms at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) which engages NYCHA youth to build, plant and cultivate one-acre farms in underutilized public space at NYCHA developments. The project brings job opportunities and training, fresh produce, beautification and opportunities for safe, outdoor activity to residents at sites.
The Farms are one component of Building Healthy Communities (BHC), a public-private partnership led by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Strategic Partnership and FPHNYC to increase access to physical activity, healthy food, and improved public safety at 12 densely populated and historically underserved New York neighborhoods.
The one-year award will support the overall Farms at NYCHA initiative, which launched in 2013, with a pilot farm in Red Hook Houses. Since then, the City has expanded the program to include three new sites in Brownsville, Canarsie, and East Harlem. The farm sites are now accessible to almost 17,000 public housing residents. After the initial build and planting, community-based organizations help to manage and maintain the farm with community residents.
This fall, FPHNYC and BHC will begin construction of two new farms located at NYCHA developments in Staten Island and the Bronx. The addition of these two farms, which are expected to open in 2018, will bring this program to four out of five of the city’s boroughs.
“The Farms enable communities and local organizations to work together to increase access to healthy food options in some of New York’s most underserved neighborhoods,” said Sara Gardner, Executive Director, Fund for Public Health in New York City. “This is an incredible opportunity to improve and green underutilized space while engaging the broader community.”