East New York Farms! Wins 2018 CFF Champions Award

East New York Farms of has been named the winner of the 2018 Community Food Funders Champions Award!

Seven funders in the CFF network, plus the 2017 winner Soul Fire Farm, comprised the selection committee. East New York Farms! was chosen in recognition of their food production and food access programming, indigenous leadership, youth engagement, and waste reduction practices; all which represent the triple bottom line approach to food systems change. The work of East New York Farms! will be presented at the 2018 CFF Annual Gathering.

2018 Champion: East New York Farms!

The mission of East New York Farms! is to organize youth and adults to address food justice in the East New York community by promoting local sustainable agriculture and community-led economic development. East New York Farms! is a project of the United Community Centers in partnership with local residents, who have been working with youth, gardeners, farmers, and entrepreneurs to build a more just and sustainable community since 1998. CFF is proud to celebrate their 20th Anniversary with this award!

East New York Farms! grows fresh food for their community and provides support to help others do the same. They manage three urban farms and one community garden, and work with an ever-growing network of gardeners representing backyard gardens and many of the over 60 community gardens throughout East New York. In addition, they operate two community-run farmers markets; employ 35 youth for a 9-month internship each year; compost over 14,500 pounds of food scraps annually; and have a team of Community Educators who provide cooking demonstrations, presentations, and gardening workshops.

East New York Farms! will be represented at the 2018 CFF Annual Gathering by Johanna Willins, co-founder, and David Vigil, Program Director East New York Farms!

Johanna Willins is an East New York resident and the coordinator of Herbal Garden. She was the first vendor of the East New York Farmers Market in 1998 and has been an active vendor and leader in the project for 20 years.

David has worked at ENYF since 2007, and became Project Director in 2013. In addition to sustaining long-running programs, David’s priorities have been to create more opportunities for youth leadership, engage community gardeners in agricultural research projects, and expand the reach of ENYF programs to more NYCHA residents. David brings with him experience in both urban and rural agriculture, youth development, adult education, and volunteer management.

ENYF Youth Interns at a community garden

ENYF made the video below in 2017, on the verge of their 20th anniversary


More about East New York Farms!

The work of ENYF encompasses:

  • Support for community gardens with workshops, resources, and assistance from our youth. We also connect gardens with members looking for space to grow.
  • Hiring 35 young people to participate in our Youth Internship program every year. In this intensive 9-month program, young people engage in hands-on learning around environment, health, community development, leadership, and social justice.
  • A team of Community Educators who provide cooking demonstrations, presentations, and gardening workshops to educate our neighbors about how to grow, prepare, and preserve healthy food.
  • Three urban farms and one garden in East New York to increase access to locally grown produce, as well as to provide opportunities to learn, gather, and volunteer. Two of our farms are in NYCHA developments in the neighborhood.
  • Two community-run farmers markets make fresh food available and affordable, while building our local economy and creating places for neighbors to meet and greet.
  • Collecting food scraps year-round to process into nutrient-rich compost for farms and gardens in East New York to grow organic produce.

More about the CFF Champions Award

The Community Food Funders steering committee created the CFF Champions Award to recognize the leaders empowering food system change in our region. The award aims to promote the work of an outstanding leader or organization that is working towards the transition of our food system to one that pursues a true triple bottom line: a system that honors and values people, the environment, and sustainable economic models.

Thank you to all the funders who submitted nominations. We were in awe of the amazing groups doing important work in our region.

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