SNUG HARBOR & FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY ANNOUNCE SUCCESSFUL FIRST-YEAR OF PARTNERSHIP TO INCREASE ACCESS TO FRESH PRODUCE & TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES
December 17, 2015, Staten Island, NY - Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden and Food Bank For New York City announce a successful first year of an exciting partnership to increase the availability of locally-grown, fresh produce for Food Bank member agencies and to provide free training for Food Bank members to start and maintain their own urban gardens or farms.
"We are pleased to join with Food Bank For New York City in this important partnership that will help to improve the nutrition of low-income people in Staten Island," said Snug Harbor CEO Lynn Kelly. "Our training programs will also serve to make communities in all five boroughs more self-sufficient and knowledgeable in their food choices."
"We are thrilled to embark on this innovative partnership with The Heritage Farm at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on Staten Island," said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. "In addition to helping increase access to fresh, local produce for people in need across the five boroughs, we will work jointly to provide benefits to help Staten Islanders financially. Working with our Community Response Partners, Food Bank will conduct outreach and screening for SNAP (food stamps) and free income tax assistance at Snug Harbor, ensuring that people on Staten Island still struggling in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, are able to access vital supports that can help them shore up their financial foundation."
Under the partnership agreement, Snug Harbor Heritage Farm will grow 4,500 pounds of produce over the next three years for Food Bank member agencies on Staten Island to be distributed throughout local communities. In addition, Snug Harbor will conduct 12-week training courses on urban farming, offered free for volunteers and staff at select Food Bank member pantries, soup kitchens and schools. The four-hour sessions cover urban farming techniques from seeding to transplanting seedlings, to maintenance, harvesting and processing to successful crop storage. Each course includes 12 to 20 participants from all five boroughs. Instruction takes place primarily at Snug Harbor Heritage Farm on the Snug Harbor campus under the direction of Farm Manager Jon Wilson, but also on-site at participating agencies or schools. For detailed information about the Urban Farm Training Courses, contact Food Bank New York City, 212-556.7855 ext 8340, or by visiting www.foodbanknyc.org
At 2.5 acres, Snug Harbor Heritage Farm is the largest educational farm in the New York-metro region. The farm was established by Snug Harbor in 2012 to return a portion of its 83-acre campus to its original use as farm land as it was when it was Sailors' Snug Harbor in the 1800s. Last year, the Farm yielded more than 17,500 pounds of high-quality produce. Yields vary seasonally, but include a wide variety of herbs, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, lettuce, kale, radishes, cabbage, beets, and other nutritious food products. During the months of May-November, Snug Harbor sells its produce and herbs to the public at its adjacent Farm Stand.