Why They’re Food Heroes: When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Project EATS didn’t scale back like many businesses. Instead, the organization ramped up production at their Brownsville site, starting their COVID-19 Healthy Food Initiative. The organization quickly recognized that COVID-19 disproportionately affected marginalized communities of color, and began a food pantry near the urban farm to ensure that residents had access to fresh, healthy food. They eventually expanded the pantry service to their urban farms in Manhattan and the Bronx.
Background: Linda Goode Bryant founded the organization in 2008, after beginning to develop the idea during the 2004 Presidential race. Bryant has a background in fine art, and opened the Just Above Midtown gallery in 1974, which celebrated Black artists.
Work: Project EATS is a neighborhood-based project that combines urban agriculture and art to create sustainable and equitable food systems for New Yorkers of all backgrounds. They run eight urban farms and partner with local cultural and community organizations to improve the equitable distribution of healthy food. Furthermore, they have a weekly publication called The Companion with articles and information about healthy eating and urban farming.
Location: Eight farm locations across four boroughs.
Resources and References:
- Project EATS Stays Connected to Brownsville Residents (L+M Development Partners)
- Community Spotlight: Project EATS & Urban Farming in Brooklyn (L+M Development Partners)
- Project EATS: NYC Food Based Community Organization Spotlight (Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center)
- What Was Just Above Midtown Gallery, and Why Is It Important? (ARTnews)