SNAP Challenge Day 2: Learning More


I’m just getting started with the SNAP Challenge and find myself on a tour of NYC urban agriculture.

The visits we made are hopeful signs of folks trying to make a difference on issues of healthy food, social enterprise and urban living, while trying to make good food more affordable. Check out these links to learn more. As the reality of my food situation for the week begins to take hold it was great to get a bit of inspiration from such dedicated advocates.

Hot Bread Kitchen - Located at La Marqueta in Spanish Harlem, Hot Bread is a non-profit social enterprise that offers culinary job training and business incubation services for immigrant women. We met with Hot Bread’s leadership, toured their bakery, classrooms and retail store, and saw a class in action. One thing I won’t soon forget: the delicious smell of the fresh bread baking.

Brooklyn Grange - The world’s largest rooftop farm grows more than 40,000 pounds of organic produce each year at two locations, including this one in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  We met head farmer and President Ben Flanner, who gave us a personal tour of the farm and told us about the various business enterprises (CSA, value added products, apiary, green roofing business) that have sprung up since he started the Grange less than three years ago. As I mentioned in my earlier post, buying fresh produce on my limited budget has been a major challenge so far. Much of the produce I saw today is sold in farmer’s markets across the city, some of which accept SNAP benefits.