USDA Grant: NY Sun Works Awarded Competitive Federal Grant for Urban Farming Education

NY Sun Works is one of 10 recipients of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new Urban Agriculture and Innovative Programs grant, whose goal is to strengthen and expand innovative urban agricultural programs in food insecure communities where access to healthy food is limited or unavailable.

The 3-year grant, for a total of $300,000, will enable us to implement urban farming education programs in nine Brooklyn schools – three elementary, three middle, and three high schools – and to engage the surrounding community around the role of urban farming in healthy eating.  Over the three-year life cycle of the grant, we will partner with the schools to integrate urban farming education into the science curriculum, launch our community outreach Harvest programs, develop an urban farming job training certification program at the three high schools, as well as install a new Greenhouse Classroom at the High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media in Canarsie.  Through these initiatives, students will be able to explore the positive impacts of indoor food production in relation to the environment and as a means to address food access and diet-related health issues in food insecure communities. 

The grant comes at a crucial time, when public schools are facing drastic budget cuts and communities are seeing a spike in food insecurity due to COVID, making access to healthy food all the more importance.  As Adeleza Michelena, principal of the High School for Innovation shared, “Thank you so much!  This has more impact than you will ever know.”  

For more on the USDA’s Urban Agriculture program and to see other funding recipients, please see the USDA’s August 25th press release