The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is awarding $50,000 to City Green to launch edible school gardens through Farm to School programs at five head start preschools in Paterson, Jersey City, and Passaic.
Farm to School programs increases the amount of locally produced foods served through child nutrition programs while educating children about how their foods are harvested and made. Various child nutrition operators can participate in farm-to-school, from states and tribal nations to schools and community organizations.
“Farm to school plays an important role in promoting nutrition security, building a more resilient food system, promoting racial justice and equity, addressing climate change, rebuilding the rural economy, and responding to the hunger crisis that has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said FNS Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, Dr. Patty Bennett. "We are proud to recognize City Green in New Jersey as a new Farm to School grantee. This award of $50,000 will allow them to provide pre-school children with holistic hands-on lessons about gardens that will set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating.”
City Green's program will provide 375 low-income preschoolers with garden education and greater access to locally grown produce. The students participating in this program will be exposed to the development of the garden's various raised beds, pollinator gardens, potato towers, fruit tree planter boxes, berry bushes, and harvest stations.
“City Green is honored to be among the recipients of the USDA’s Farm to School turnkey edible garden grant,” said Jennifer Papa, City Green, Founder and Executive Director. “Farm-to-school programs, like City Green’s School Grounds Program ensure the children in our community have the resources and tools they need to foster lifelong connections to nature, farm fresh food, and healthy eating. This award from the USDA will enable City Green to build five new school gardens in the urban centers of Northern, NJ. Our partnership with the USDA will have a lasting impact on the lives of children in our community end will ensure that these children’s gardens grow with possibility!”
Read more about this announcement here.
City Green is a 501(c)3 urban farming and gardening organization based in Clifton, New Jersey working to revitalize urban areas through agriculture and educational programming. It offers practical, technical, and financial resources in support of environmental stewardship, equitable access to healthy food, and ecologically sustainable communities. For more information contact Jasmine Moreano, Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy or visit www.citygreenonline.org.