In the spring, members of the Emmanuel community who are involved in the College’s Urban Food Project will plant an urban garden on our new Notre Dame Campus in Roxbury. The Urban Food Project connects Emmanuel students with neighbors and local community groups in the Fort Hill/Highland Park area on the issues of food availability and food justice, particularly among low-income families who may not qualify for government assistance but are unable to afford the healthy food they need for their families. The Urban Food Project’s efforts include providing nutritional education and information, as well as urban gardening strategies.
On Friday, students and faculty participating in the Urban Food Project planted the seeds for a summer harvest of vegetables in our Fenway Campus greenhouse – everything from chives to cabbage to celery, eggplant and Brussels sprouts. We already have seedlings for strawberries, tomatoes, artichokes and a variety of flowers.
Our farmers-in-training are under the direction of Patti the Garden Girl – A resident of Fort Hill, Patti Moreno is an urban garden expert and TV personality best known for the web video series Garden Girl TV.
In the fall, the College received a one-year, $25,000 grant from the New Balance Foundation to underwrite the inaugural year of the Project, which connects directly with the Foundation’s goal of promoting healthy lifestyles while working to prevent childhood obesity.
Partners in the Urban Food Project also include:
- Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) – An anti-poverty agency in Boston, which operates a network of 14 Neighborhood Service sites to serve more than 95,000 low-income residents in the area;
- Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters – A nationwide program that helps low-income families stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home;
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission Grammar School – A Roxbury elementary school that educations 250 pre-school to 6th-grade students;
- Nazareth Residence – A residential service site of Catholic Charities that provides services for homeless mothers and children while they transition to more permanent housing.