Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced the 14 recipient organizations that will receive funding from the Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program.
The City of Newark is investing $2 million to support community-based organizations to combat hunger and food insecurity resulting from, and worsened by the adverse economic impacts related to COVID-19.
With the disruptions to the global economy, many low-income Newark families are experiencing a greater degree of food insecurity than ever before. The Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program seeks to spur the creation and expansion of sustainable urban food cooperatives, and other community-based healthy food distribution channels.
“14 highly-deserving Newark community organizations are receiving $2 million in grants to advance urban agriculture and increase our community’s food self-sufficiency,” Baraka said. “These grants will make a major difference in the lives of residents, improving their wellbeing by ending food deserts, creating community gardens that provide fresh, healthy food to families in need, and strengthening neighborhood economies. I congratulate each organization on earning this grant award. They will keep moving Newark forward.”
The program aligns with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Food Desert Relief Program designed around the central purpose of eradicating food deserts. A “food desert” is a geographical area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. In developing their programmatic focus, the NJEDA has determined that a large portion of the City of Newark is considered a “Food Desert.”
Clinton Hill will use its $350,000 grant to create a “Nourish-to-Flourish” From Desert to Food Oasis” Farmer’s Market, the first resident-run food co-op in the South Ward.
“No one should go to bed hungry or be forced to eat unhealthy food because they cannot afford or get access to it. Nourishing Newark will help us move the city from being a food desert to a food oasis. Our ‘pay what you can afford’ food co-op will serve as a model for giving everyday residents the tools and know how to solve long standing community challenges,” said Clinton Hill Community Action’s Executive Director Khaatim Sherrer El.
Project U.S.E. is receiving $150,000 for “Newark Healthy Food Access and Empowerment Project,” which will provide education, networking and collaboration, gardening skills workshops, and food distribution to expand healthy food access and empowerment for community residents.
“Project U.S.E.’s existing work in the City of Newark to expose young Newark residents to gardening and healthy food access will be greatly expanded thanks to the Nourishing Newark grant project,” said Jeffrey Key, Director of Operations for Project U.S.E. “In particular, we are looking forward to both expanding our garden space, which will allow us to grow more produce and have the resources to provide year-round employment opportunities to more youth in Newark, who will help increase the number of residents with access to free or affordable healthy food choices.”