Our mission is to inspire New York City youth to live healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability and nutrition.
We serve at-risk, New York City youth living in communities with high poverty rates and high unemployment rates. Of the families we serve, over 85% are living at or below the poverty-line. Almost 1 in 2 (46%) of our youth are either overweight or obese and 80% live in single-parent households. Our youth live in modern food deserts where fast-food restaurants are often four times as prevalent as the overall urban average, and access to affordable, healthy food is limited.
To combat these challenges, we transform vacant spaces into productive urban farms and greenhouses, using innovative agricultural methods to grow a variety of crops, which are distributed to the community. We use the farms as classrooms and as venues to cultivate a connection to the environment and food among students. In addition, our farms help to transform the surrounding community by providing green havens to neighbors, and an opportunity to witness and engage in local food production.
We place mentors in select partner schools to implement sustainable practices such as recycling and composting and to nurture healthy choices among students. Our mentors create youth Green Teams to spread environmental awareness and teach fellow students about caring for the earth as well as for themselves. This consistent presence fosters a bond that enables our mentors to teach students personal responsibility and self-development, which leads to improved overall wellness and health in schools.
This academic year, we will expand our in-school programs to include food, gardening, and nutritional education in a classroom setting, helping to deepen understanding about sustainable food systems for students while meeting core academic standards. Our classroom programs will be complimented by targeted outreach and workshops to support and engage school families in making healthy food choices, helping our students to bring the learning home.
But we need your help to develop, test, and implement our new educational programs. Your donation will directly support Harlem Grown's in-school and farm education programs, helping Harlem youth to access and appreciate real food through hands-on learning experiences. Funds will be used to purchase cooking equipment, classroom teaching materials, gardening supplies, and outreach materials, enabling Harlem Grown to bring this valuable programming to three public schools in Harlem, reaching over 750 students this year. Your donation makes all the difference - thank you for helping us to reach our 2016 target!