Why They’re Food Heroes: The members of Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ) nearly closed permanently with the pandemic, but when one of the hydroponic farm sites became a school meal distribution hub, TFFJ was able to harvest a thousand pounds of produce to organizations and households in the community. Furthermore, the group partnered with Collective Fare to distribute 600 boxes of healthy groceries to Brownsville residents for the Thanksgiving holidays.
Background: TFFJ was born in 2013 out of Students for Service, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting students with meaningful community service opportunities. The group then began focusing on food access and food justice, and began outreach to schools in Brooklyn. Food produced at TFFJ urban farms is served in cafeterias and distributed to the surrounding communities.
Work: The organization was founded as a youth group of community activists working with New York City public schools to combat food insecurity and diet-related disease that disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. The organization works with students in public schools to learn about urban agriculture and hydroponics.
Location: They have four hydroponic farms located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
Awards, Praise and Honors: NYSHealth awarded Teens for Food Justice a grant to distribute fresh food to food-insecure residents of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Resources and References:
- Meet Some of the People Feeding Americans During the Pandemic (Thrive Global)
- School Food & COVID-19 (Youth Food Advocates Newsletter)
- Brownsville Families Get Thanksgiving Meal From Brooklyn Non-Profits (BK Reader)
- NYC School Uses Hydroponic Farm to Make Healthy School Lunches (NowThis)
- A Virtual Conversation with Youth Food Justice Leaders (TFFJ panel)
- Meeting Emergency Food Needs During COVID-19 – An Interview with City Harvest’s Keith Carr (Teens for Food Justice)
- Clinton HS Hydroponics Lab (this is the bronX)
- Teens for Food Justice: NYC Food Based Community Organization Spotlight (Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center)