Food Policy Changemaker Award: Karen Washington

by NYC Food Policy Editor

The Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center has announced its third annual NYC Food Policy Changemaker award. One NYC food policy and practice leader who is working to transform the food system will be honored every year by the Center. Nominees are policymakers, educators, community advocates, farmers, innovators and more, who are making significant strides to create healthier, more sustainable food environments, and who use food to promote community and economic development. This year’s award goes to Karen Washington.

Karen Washington is a community activist and urban gardener who has worked in many parts of the food and agricultural system in this country. She is a board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, Why Hunger, and Farm School NYC. She co-founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization supporting Black growers in both urban and rural settings, and La Familia Verde Garden Coalition. Today, she is the co-owner and an organic gardener at Rise & Root Farm in Chester, NY.

Grew up in: NYC
Job Title/Organization or Company: Rise & Root Farm
Background and Education: BS in Physical Therapy with honors at Hunter College MA NYU in Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics
One word you would use to describe our food system: Broken
Food policy hero: Marion Nestle [note: Nestle was the recipient of the 2019 Changemaker award]
Your breakfast this morning: Granola cereal
Favorite food: Mangoes
Favorite last meal on Earth: Baked chicken with sweet potatoes and cabbage
Favorite food hangout (restaurant, bodega, coffee place, friend’s house, etc) and why: Family gatherings. We celebrate our love for each other
Social media must follow: Rise & Root Farm (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

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