NYC Organizations Working Toward Racial Equity Through Food

by Deirdre Appel

Food justice cannot be achieved without racial justice. The two are inextricably linked and deeply rooted in the racism that pervades the history of agriculture and food access in the United States. In our continued effort to create a more equitable and sustainable food system, the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center has gathered a list of organizations working at the intersection of racial equity and food justice.

Please email us at to add your organization. 

Brooklyn Movement Center
Location: 375 Stuyvesant Avenue, 2nd Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11233
How They Are Creating Change: The Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC) brings together residents of Central Brooklyn (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and the surrounding area) to develop local leadership, identify important issues in their lives, win concrete improvements in the community, and build power. Black-led, member-led committees on food justice, environmental justice, street harassment, District 16 schools and police accountability lead the change.
How You Can Support Their Work: Become a member or power the movement with a donation 

Brooklyn Rescue Mission Inc
Location: 919 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
How They Are Creating Change: The Brooklyn Rescue Mission was founded in 2002 by clergy and community workers with a vision to provide the hungry, hurting and homeless people of Central Brooklyn with healthy fresh food and clean warm clothing. The mission now assists families many of whom are one paycheck away from homelessness.
How You Can Support Their Work: Sign up to volunteer and/or donate

Center for Social Inclusion
Location: 150 Broadway #303, New York, NY 10038
How They Are Creating Change: The Center for Social Inclusion’s (CSI) mission is to be a catalyst for communities, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes for all. Their core programs, including Food Equity, identify causes of racial inequity at a systemic level and work with partners, through research and strategic convenings, to develop community-level solutions and national policy proposals. CSI’s research into food inequities sheds light on injustice in the global food system and strives to inform policymakers about inequality in food access. CSI develops policy ideas to transform structural racial inequity, support grassroots leaders, and promote strategies for structural transformation through public policy, with an ultimate goal of finding solutions that advance racial equity and fairness for everyone.
How You Can Support Their Work: Read A Racial Equity Implementation Guide for Food Hubs: A Framework for Translating Values Into Organizational Action or donate here.

Central Brooklyn Food Cooperative
Location: 375 Stuyvesant Avenue, 2nd Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11233
How They Are Creating Change: The Central Brooklyn Food Coop is a 100 percent member-owned-and-operated food store with membership open to all. Their mission is to utilize collective strength to ensure access to affordable and fresh food within the mostly-of-color, low- and moderate-income communities of Central Brooklyn. They are a food cooperative in formation and are working to open  a storefront in the community.
How You Can Support Their Work: Become a member, help organize, and/or donate

Community Food Advocates, Inc
Location: 110 Wall St, New York, NY 10005
How They Are Creating Change: Community Food Advocates, Inc. (CFA) is an economic justice-based policy and advocacy organization whose goal is to strengthen publicly-funded food and income programs for low-income New Yorkers and to maximize participation through a combination of innovative advocacy strategies incorporating in-depth policy analysis, knowledge of program operations, coalition-building, organizing and community engagement.  Their work focuses on school lunch, summer meals, school breakfast, SNAP, cash assistance, and WIC programs.
How You Can Support Their Work: Explore their resource page and/or donate here

The Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City
Location: Various locations
How They Are Creating Change: The Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City (CEANYC) strengthens and expands community-led, democratically-controlled initiatives — from worker, financial and consumer co-ops to community land trusts and gardens, mutual housing, and low-income housing co-ops. Their goal is to build an economy based on social and racial justice, ecological sustainability, cooperation, mutualism, and democracy. CEANYC is the only membership-based organization in NYC that brings together cooperatives and solidarity economy practitioners across sectors. Their membership includes low-income housing cooperatives, community development credit unions, CSA, community gardens, food cooperatives, community land trusts, and worker-owned cooperatives.
How You Can Support Their Work: Explore their resource library, sign up for Anti-Racism and Gentrification Training for Food Co-Ops and/or donate here

East New York Farms!
Location: 613 New Lots Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11207
How They Are Creating Change: East New York Farms! is a project of the United Community Centers in partnership with local residents whose mission is to organize youth and adults to address food justice in the community by promoting local sustainable agriculture and community-led economic development. They have been working with youth, gardeners, farmers, and entrepreneurs to build a more just and sustainable community since 1998.
How You Can Support Their Work: Attend a virtual cooking class and/or make a donation

Farm School NYC
Location: Courses take place all over New York City. Weekday classes take place at The People’s Forum. Weekend classes take place at community gardens, farms and parks throughout the city. See here for a map of locations.
How They Are Creating Change: Farm School NYC’s mission is to train local residents in urban agriculture in order to build self-reliant communities and inspire positive local action with regard to issues of food access as well as social, economic, and racial justice. The organization offers urban agriculture training through two certificate programs as well as a wide range of individual courses.
How You Can Support Their Work: Register for one of their courses
here or donate here

Green Bronx Machine
Location: Throughout schools in the NYC
How They Are Creating Change: The Green Bronx Machine builds healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st-century workforce development. Dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope, their school-based model using urban agriculture aligned to key school performance indicators grows healthy students and healthy schools in order to transform communities that are fragmented and marginalized into neighborhoods that are inclusive and thriving.
How You Can Support Their Work: Make a donation

Harlem Grown
Location: 127 West 127th Street Harlem, NY, 10027
How They Are Creating Change: Harlem Grown operates two urban farms, two school gardens, and a greenhouse in Central Harlem. The organization provides educational programming both in local schools and on its farms to teach Harlem youth about urban farming, food justice, and sustainability. The food they produce is distributed throughout the community, in order  to provide a source of nutritious food in a community where healthy food options are hard to come by.
How You Can Support Their Work: Participate in their youth programs, volunteer or make a one-time or recurring donation. For sponsorship opportunities, reach out to Erika Scelfo, 

Just Food
Location: 100 Crosby St #303, New York, NY 10012
How They Are Creating Change: Just Food connects NYC institutions, businesses, and individuals with sustainable small- to mid-scale regional growers and trains community leaders to work collectively toward a more economically viable and democratic food system that is grounded in the principles of cooperation, solidarity, and equity. Just Food has been in the vanguard of food justice, sustainable agriculture, and equitable policy/advocacy since 1995. It aims to shift the power, health, and wealth of historically and economically marginalized communities including Black, Latinx, communities of color, LGBTQ, mixed income, small-scale farmers, and hyper local growers/producers.
How You Can Support Their Work: Join their mailing list or support through donations here

La Finca del Sur
Location: 110 E 138th St, The Bronx, NY 10451
How They Are Creating Change: La Finca del Sur/South Bronx Farmers is an urban farmer cooperative led by Latina and black women in the South Bronx. Its members are committed to building healthy neighborhoods through economic empowerment, increased nutritional awareness, training and education, and advocating for social and political equality and food justice in low-income communities and to tying those issues to broader systemic inequalities and global justice.
How You Can Support Their Work: Email to find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities 

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