TEDxManhattan asked food advocacy groups to share how they've been helping promote sustainability in their communities. After selecting five finalists, the voting is now open to the public, who will determine which group will present a talk on March 1, 2014. Below are the five finalists.
This program works with school districts and teachers to install hydroponic systems in low-income schools. This not only helps students to learn about the food system and provides them with the opportunity to eat fresh produce, the program also encourages a hands-on approach to teaching science. So far, Urban Hydrofarmers' college-bound program had 40 high school students go on to college, with 65 percent of those students pursuing majors in a scientific field. By the end of 2013, they will have projects in 40 schools located in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California.
The New Roots Fresh Stop Project brings fresh produce into the food desserts of Louisville, Kentucky. The "Fresh Stops," similar to a farm share or community supported agriculture program, are paid for one week in advance and are run by volunteers at churches and schools. The program allows the community members, including families receiving food stamps and mothers on WIC, to pool their resources and buy in bulk. The project supports local farmers by reducing their exposure to market risk. A survey conducted last year found that 85 percent of the New Roots participants ate more fruits and vegetables thanks to the program.
This program based in Jamaica Planes, Massachusetts helps people with a range of medical conditions, including heart failture, diabetes and AIDS, to maintain a diet that's tailored to their condition. They help to reduce re-hospitalization by bringing home-delivered meals to sick clients, 92 percent of whom are living in poverty. Food Is Medicine also collaborates with the Step Forward Program, which provides parolees with a 12-week food service training program, and helps them with job placement at graduation.
This program brings farms closer to school in Oxford, Mississippi. Good Food for Oxford Schools puts locally grown produce in school cafeterias, and also promotes healthy eating through its eight student-initiated gardens. Mississippi is often ranked as the state with the highest rate of childhood obesity, but this project hopes to present a model for other school districts in the state and around the country.
Born out in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents of the Rockaways found the need a nutritious food in their community even after the emergency conditions diminished. The Shore Soup project works to bring healthy foods to the community though its home meal service and its pay-as-you-can food truck. The project is run by 400 volunteers from around New York City, and now hopes to build an urban agriculture outpost in the Rockaways. They're planting a 1.6. acre community garden and also have plans to open a pay-as-you-can restaurant.
You can learn more about these cool organization and cast your vote here!