Young people learn to grow organic produce at Brooklyn Farm

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For Ashley Stoner, nothing compares to picking the perfect grape tomato.

“They’re really tiny and the tastiest,” Stoner said. “These are like little bites that you can just put in your mouth.”

Stoner’s love for gardening started at a very young age. Her mother signed her up to join the non-profit organization Campaign Against Hunger when she was just 4 years old. Today, at 16, she has learned a lot.


What do you want to know

  • The BedStuy Campaign Against Hunger Saratoga Farm has grown, in part because it won a $100,000 grant in 2018
  • The Brooklyn Community Foundation annually awards five of these grants called Spark Prizes to five organizations with no strings attached.
  • Campaign Against Hunger grows 70,000 pounds of produce that supplies its pantry and markets, serving 66,000 families a year

“It’s nice to know that when I’m harvesting, watering or weeding, I’m helping to contribute on a larger scale,” Stoner said.

Stoner is one of dozens of 14- to 24-year-olds taking part in this paid internship at Saratoga Farm in Bedford-Stuyvesant where they learn how to grow and care for organic produce. The food is then distributed to restaurants and a nearby food pantry.

“It’s gorgeous,” said Robert Abramo, who visits the pantry every Monday. “The staff are amazing and they are volunteers.

Ambramo likes to stock up on fruits and vegetables. He says many stores in the area have a limited selection.

“I have a problem with organic food, they charge too much,” Abramo said. “So I get stuff here that’s amazing.”

The BedStuy Saratoga Farm Hunger Campaign has grown in part because it won a $100,000 grant in 2018. The Brooklyn Community Foundation awards five of these grants called Spark Prizes to five organizations each year with no strings attached.

“This is the type of nonprofit we want to support as we reflect on ‘What Does Racial Justice Look Like?’ ‘” said Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. “It looks like this, it looks like these nonprofits that are actually in the community doing the work, changing lives.”

The grant’s goal is to address racial inequality in Brooklyn neighborhoods by giving local organizations the resources they need to thrive.

“It’s important that families who can’t afford food and can’t get to the nearest farmer’s market that has very expensive produce can get produce straight to their neighborhood from their backyard. -yard and using that concept to teach,” said Dr. Melony Samuels, Executive Director. and founder of the Hunger Campaign said.

A concept that allows the organization to also thrive and give back to its community by growing healthy and accessible food.

In total, Campaign Against Hunger grows 70,000 pounds of produce that supplies its pantry and markets, serving 66,000 families a year.

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