A Buffalo Treasure MAP

Most of us have read about Massachusetts Avenue Project and its mission to deliver fresh, organic food to neighborhoods in need. You’ve heard this numerous times from BRO writers, so maybe it’s time to hear it directly from the source. Well, we’re in luck because MAP produced a short video this past year that captures the organization’s “urban farm to neighborhood table” philosophy and how that philosophy transcends to everyday life. After all, eating healthy, organic food should not be a special treat… it should be a family’s food routine. 

Growing vegetables on a community farm is an impressive endeavor. Especially once an educational component is added, which then carries life lessons on to others. We need to take into account that on top of everything else, MAP’s aquaponic program raises 35,000 pounds of fish annually in a fairly self contained environment within a giant hoop house – a living ecosystem that functions all year long and provides jobs, an educational component and quality food for people who might not otherwise have access to it. Not to mention MAP’s Mobile Market that delivers the food to those with limited means of transportation. Here’s MAP’s video that gives a quick overview of the Growing Green legacy… pass it on to others who may not be aware of the importance of this grassroots initiative:

Grow: The Story of an Urban Farmer from Mass Ave Project on Vimeo. 

Here’s a list of restaurants and vendors that purchase food from MAP:

Bistro Europa

Globe Market

Whole Hog food truck

Lexington Co-op

Trattoria Aroma

Counting Down the top ten reasons to support MAP!

Number 10: Food is a door that you can open…Food is not only what nurtures us but is a starting point for education, community building and economic growth.  At MAP we open that door to opportunities for learning how to grow your own, celebrating with each other, thinking about where your food comes from, how it is an economic driver, and how public policy and school policy can create access to healthier food to create a healthier Buffalo.

Number 9: The multiplier effect…by supporting local social enterprises like MAP your dollars go farther to support our local economy.  For every dollar spent on local food between 50-70 cents remains in our local economy!

Number 8: There is nothing like a fresh egg from a happy, free-range chicken…MAP started a CSA (farm produce share subscription) this year that includes an egg option…many of our members report not being able to go back to eating supermarket eggs!

Number 7:  Restoring and respecting the soil under us, reducing the waste among us… By the end of 2012 we will have composted over 500,000 lbs of food waste this year, removing it from our municipal waste stream and creating new nutrient-rich, chemical-free soil.

Number 6:  Jobs, Jobs, Jobs …Since 2003 we have provided employment and training to over 450 low-income young people, most of whom have gone onto college and/or found full-time employment.

Number 5:  Part of a national movement…Buffalo is being recognized as a leader in community food systems development because of efforts like MAP’s Growing Green Program.

Number 4:  You will change someone’s life…MAP’s mobile market customers are able to buy affordable, fresh produce at sites around the city where fresh food is hard to come by, providing better nutrition for their families.

Number 3: Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs…From recipe testing to product development to marketing, young people learn the skills of running their own food based business.  Look for our Youth Enterprise Salsa, Chili Starter and Salad Dressing at the Lexington Coop and in the Natures Marketplace section of Wegmans!

Number 2:  You will change someone’s life (again)…amazing young people from all over the world living here in Buffalo, wondering about their future, willing to work hard, wanting to make change, becoming leaders need your help to succeed…give to MAP and you will provide them with opportunities that make a difference!

And Number 1:  We can’t do it without you! It takes all of us to do this good work!

This year, through hands-on work at our farm and aquaponics greenhouses, with our Mobile Market and Youth Enterprise, and through our Community Education and Civic Engagement activities, young people have been given meaningful work and real opportunities to make a difference.

Please help us continue to provide opportunities for young people, and healthy food for our neighbors while we grow our local food economy!  You can give on-line www.mass-ave.org using Paypal (click here) or send a check to:

The Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) 271 Grant Street Buffalo, NY 14213

About the author  ⁄ queenseyes

Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Catalyst behind the Pierce-Arrow Film Arts Center. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette. Themed New Years mayhem at various locations. Next up: Porchfest... Also offers package tours of the city for groups or individuals. Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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