Connecting Hunger and Health in Brooklyn & Beyond

Connecting Hunger and Health in Brooklyn & Beyond


First we started with our food pantry.
After Hurricane Sandy we had the opportunity to come out here to help
meet the needs of the people. My name is Sam Josephs, I work for BedStuy
Campaign Against Hunger Farms in Far Rockaway. This is our mass production
farm. We harvest about 300 pounds of vegetables every week. Everything that we
harvest here it goes to different pantries out here in Far Rockaway as well
as in Brooklyn. For a lot of people it starts as just a job but after a while
working together everyone clicks. We sell our produce at a completely reduced price.
With the veggie prescription what happens is they go to their health
center, they will be given a ten-dollar certificate. They bring that to the farm
and they get an opportunity to shop. But by the time they get the stuff that they
want they’re like “I’m not at ten-dollars” I’m like “No, you’re not.” I met Sam 5, 6 years ago and some workers
and volunteer then moved onto the Green Teens Program. She just moved up the
ladder and became the leader. I want you to start from down there and work your way back up. We’ve helped the family overall, we’ve done a lot with the family. From food stamps to help with affordable health insurance. Not only Sam but her
brother was a Green Teen. She understands the mission she understands if we’re
going to meet the needs of families then we have to be dedicated. Living in the Caribbean, we always had a
home-cooked meal. The school lunch would be food, actual food. Here in Rockaway you don’t
have access to the things that you need because all you have is the bodegas, all
you have is the fast-food restaurants. Once you have a farm, you’re
producing your own food, you’re watching out for your own health and you
are in control of your health, not the rest of the world because you
know what you’re eating, you know how it grew. This is a workable model. I know
the benefit, the long lasting benefit that it will add to the lives of families.
It means that a senior citizen can live a little longer. It means that a child might never see
diabetes, never be obese or never have hypertension. It means a lot to me. We have yet to get the funding to work
with someone that sees what we’re doing, understands what we’re doing and also
invests in what we’re doing. Knowing that this food is for my
community to encourage healthy eating for me and my home is just amazing.

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