Growing Green's Local Food Project

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Massachusetts Avenue Project
City & State:
New York
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement
MAP's mission is to nurture the growth of a diverse and equitable community food system to promote local economic opportunities, access to affordable and nutritious food, and social-change education.

Submission Information

Impact Essay
So what does food have to do with environmental conservation and why should it matter to teenagers living in inner-city Buffalo, NY? Well we have found in the Growing Green program that food is a great tool for young people to start thinking about their world, their impact and our future. Everyone eats, and because we all have experience with food that is specific to our region, family, climate, race, gender, class, health, and environment, it serves as a jumping off point for activism. Youth in the Growing Green Program use organic growing methods to grow 45 varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs on our half acre urban farm on Buffalo’s Westside, which also features a strawbale greenhouse and thousand gallon water catchment system. Along with growing produce, youth in Growing Green get hands on job training in various fields. Youth run their own business, Growing Green Works, which has value added food products available for sale at many local retailers. Youth teach peers about the food system, cooking healthy snacks and how the food you choose has an impact on the environment at afterschool programs in their neighborhood. And youth are learning marketing skills as they plan the annual regional Eat UP conference and many other community events and develop educational materials to share with the greater Buffalo community. The central tool we use in this program is the Adobe CS which has allowed Growing Green Youth to develop marketable skills while creating posters, flyers, fundraising materials, table tents, display boards and e newsletters. By using the Adobe tools, Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, youth have been able to communicate messages in a dynamic way. Creativity has blossomed within the program and allowed youth in the program to envision career opportunities they had not considered previously. As a part of a partnership with a local family farm, in a rural community outside of Buffalo, youth used Adobe CS to create a branding package with newsletter template, logo and letterhead for the Promised Land CSA. This year’s Eat UP conference theme was “School Lunch” and youth chose to make representations of veggies as high school students. They also created, using Illustrator, an image of a vegetable tattoo that enforces their message about making lifestyle changes. The vegetable youth characters started as drawings and then scanning them into Illustrator, which allowed for them to see multiple steps of the creative process from rough sketch to finished project. Using this image as part of outreach of the conference, they were able to more than double the previous year’s numbers. By using the Adobe software tools, the lives of a small group of young people was enriched and those young people were able to impact a much larger community with innovative outreach materials.
Submission Category
Environmental Impact Print/Photo