Did you know that in Harlem:
- 3 out of 4 families are headed by a single parent;
- The poverty level in Harlem is 66.3% greater than the New York state average and 299.6% greater than the New York City average;
- Poor neighbourhoods have higher rates of heart disease and diabetes across all age groups and obesity is much more prevalent in West Harlem than in Greenwich Village;
- There are three times as many fast food restaurants in Harlem than there are on the Upper East Side; and
- There are 3 supermarkets per 10,000 people on the Upper East Side compared to 2 supermarkets per 10,000 people in East and Central Harlem.
Clearly, things are are not adding up equally for our fellow New Yorkers, many of whom work in minimum wage jobs. In an effort to address this inequity, foster community autonomy, and just introduce urban kids to good old muck, we have decided to join the "Harlem Grown" team and plan to participate in a 50km bike-ride next week (yep, 50km. Chris is prepared, Faye -- not so much)
www.harlemgrown.org, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation is launching a job training program that will hire unemployed mothers from partnered schools to staff the greenhouse and farms. The Greenhouse Apprenticeship program will provide its participants with a living wage and flexible hours, as well as access to fresh food. It will also provide the opportunity to learn invaluable skills such as business development and marketing, and will provide hands-on education about sustainable agriculture, all while engaging in community development.
Please support us as we try to support those who are trying to help themselves but, as the statistics clearly show, are facing an uphill battle. Moreover, please send good thoughts our way as we embark on a ride around Manhattan's perimeter -- at least one of us is incredibly ill prepared but willing nonetheless....
Thank you for your support for this great cause!
-Faye and Chris