GrowNYC

GrowNYC thanks Governor Cuomo for his continued support of farmers and healthy food for all New Yorkers

Governor Cuomo announced a slate of initiatives at the "Upstate-Downstate Farm to Table Agriculture Summit" in Manhattan last Thursday, all focused on linking upstate producers with New York City in order to increase city dwellers’ access to fresh, New York State grown and produced foods. GrowNYC has played an integral role in increasing New York City’s consumption of New York State farm products while putting more money directly into the pockets of small and midsized farmers, and we look forward to working alongside the State to continue growing these initiatives.

“Currently, low-income communities throughout New York City and the state lack access to fresh, healthy foods and small to midsized farmers cannot fairly compete with industrial sized farms from the west coast and beyond,” says GrowNYC Executive Director, Marcel Van Ooyen. “We are extremely thankful to Governor Cuomo and the State for recognizing the importance of continuing our state’s rich agricultural tradition and for investing in the financial health of our family farmers as well as the physical health of New Yorkers of all income levels.”

“We are thrilled to hear Governor Cuomo is prioritizing so many programs that we see as integral to linking upstate and downstate economies and providing access to healthy food for all New Yorkers,” says GrowNYC Board Chairman, Robert J. Kafin, Esq. “New York State boasts some of the best farmers and food producers in the world and there is no better marketplace than that of the 8.5 million residents of New York City to help ensure they are able to continue their work and inspire the next generation of farmers, bakers, jam makers and beyond .”

For over 40 years, GrowNYC has worked hard to get New York State grown products to those who need them most, but there is still more to be done. We are grateful to the Governor for pledging financial support to help expand food box programs like GrowNYC’s own Fresh Food Box, which brings fresh produce at an affordable price directly to those who need it most. Additionally, we are grateful for his support to establish a Regional Food Wholesale Farmers Market along with a Regional Food Hub Task Force which will increase upstate farmers’ ability to access the vast New York City market while also increasing city dwellers access to fresh, local foods. With the generous support of the Governor and the State of New York, we look forward to continuing GrowNYC's efforts to ensure New York State makes farming and farmers an anchor of our economic and environmental sustainability.  

#GivingTuesday is almost here!

#GivingTuesday is back and we're proud to be a part of it for the second year in a row.

Coming after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday acknowledges that we don't just take, take, take. We give back too! This year, on Tuesday, December 2nd, be a part of this growing global movement by taking action in a way that is meaningful to you. #GivingTuesday is about doing what you can to give back. It's about showing that all of us can do so much more with our wallets than just consume.

This year we have an extra special treat: the first $5,000 that we raise on #GivingTuesday will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

The #GivingTuesday campaign is a platform for you to contribute to your community and to help make this the biggest giving season yet. Your donation to GrowNYC helps give schools the tools they need to get learning outside, brings NYC's youngest to experience the outdoors through field trips to different urban farms, offers community leaders the tools they need to keep growing, helps New Yorkers recycle smarter, and supports new farmers and Greenmarket producers.

All of us here at GrowNYC know that you care about making a difference, and that's why we invite you to join #GivingTuesday. Donate, spread the word, volunteer for groups you care about (we hope that includes GrowNYC!) and encourage your friends to to give in lieu of gifts or just because.

Mark your calendar for December 2 and take action in ways that mean something to you.

Together, #letsgrownyc!
To learn more go to www.givingtuesday.org
Be sure to follow us on twitter @GrowNYC and use #letsgrownyc. We'll be sure to retweet you!

Here are some sample tweets to get you started on spreading the word:

  • Be a part of a new worldwide tradition of giving. On #GivingTuesday, #letsgrownyc.
  • Black Friday. Cyber Monday. What about #GivingTuesday? Together, #letsgrownyc!
  • Remember, it's not how you give or what you give, it's THAT you give. For the second year, #letsgrownyc on #GivingTuesday! 

Happy Giving!

Grow to Learn NYC Congratulates Carson Daly and the Today Show for "shining a light" on the importance of school gardens

A statement by Marcel Van Ooyen Executive Director, GrowNYC

I want to personally congratulate Carson Daly of the Today Show for supporting our efforts to build a garden in every New York City School.  Since its launch in February 2011, Grow to Learn NYC has been working to connect NYC public and charter schools with the funding, training and materials needed for their students to dig in, connect to nature and build more positive attitudes towards healthy foods.

As a result of our partnerships with city agencies, funders and fellow non-profits, 436 schools have registered garden projects with Grow to Learn, giving them access to the garden mini-grants, training, material giveaways as well as opportunities and resources offered by greening and wellness partner organizations--with a focus on supporting schools in underserved communities like the South Bronx, Central and East Harlem and Central Brooklyn.

To date, Grow to Learn has distributed $517,000 in 331 garden mini-grants to schools. And one hundred percent of funds raised for mini-grants go directly to the schools to allow them to purchase what they need from local retailers so their learning garden programs can bloom.  

We are deeply grateful to Mr. Daly and the Today Show for highlighting the need to expand gardens to all schools and look forward to seeing more school gardens bloom around the city. 

GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen profiled by the New York Times

The New York Times recently profiled GrowNYC's Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen in its Sunday Routine column.

Check out what our boss is up to!

#GivingTuesday 2013 is coming…

How do you give back?

We’ve all heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about #GivingTuesday?

This year on Tuesday, December 3, GrowNYC is joining a national movement to celebrate and encourage giving: a day when charities, families, students, businesses, community centers, and others come together for #GivingTuesday - a day dedicated to celebrate giving and encourage more, smarter giving during the Holiday Season. Mark your calendar. #GivingTuesday 2013 is Tuesday, December 3rd.

#GivingTuesday is about doing what you can to give back. It’s about showing that all of us can do so much more with our wallets than just consume. Last year #GivingTuesday included more than 100,000 individuals participating in ways that matter to them.

All of us here at GrowNYC know that you care about making a difference, and that's why we invite you to join #GivingTuesday. Donate, spread the word, volunteer for groups you care about (we hope that includes GrowNYC!) and encourage your friends to give in lieu of gifts or just because.

So mark your calendar and on December 3rd take action in ways that means something to you.

#Giveback this #GivingTuesday!

To learn more go to givingtuesday.org.

Be sure to follow us on twitter @grownyc, and share how you give back with #givegrownyc

GrowNYC Partners Launches!

GrowNYC is proud to announce the launch of GrowNYC Partners, a professional consulting service for food, farming, gardening, and recycling projects.

GrowNYC Partners will help businesses, foundations, and government agencies transform and empower their consumers and communities, spearheading sustainability througout New York City's private sector and beyond.  And as a non-profit with 40 years of success, we are dedicated to providing simple, cost-effective solutions.  

Whether you are interested in building a rooftop farm, a courtyard garden, or a citywide food systems strategy, GrowNYC Partners can help.

Learn more about GrowNYC Partners or email us for more info!

GrowNYC and Brooklyn Brewery Launch Greenmarket Wheat Beer

GrowNYC and Brooklyn Brewery are excited to announce the launch of Greenmarket Wheat, a beer collaboration between local farmers, malters, and brewers that captures the flavor of regional agriculture in a bottle.  

Greenmarket Wheat is a wheat beer made with raw wheat from North Country Farm in Watertown, NY, Pilsner Barley Malt from Valley Malt in Hadley, MA, and Wildflower Honey from Tremblay Apiaries, Chemung County, NY. 

The idea for Greenmarket Wheat grew from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2012 Farm Brewery License legislation aimed at expanding the growth of craft breweries and increase demand for locally grown products to brew beer statewide.

"Our Greenmarket Regional Grains Initiative works with regional farmers to devote more acreage to growing grains. Creating partnerships to move their product into the hands of bakers—and now brewers—has helped their businesses scale up production," said Marcel Van Ooyen, executive director of GrowNYC. "Greenmarket Wheat is a collaboration of local growers, millers, malters and brewers who will all benefit from the sale of this new product, not to mention consumers who can purchase a refreshing ale they can feel good supporting. Shoppers come to the Greenmarket to eat local. Now they can drink local. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with Brooklyn Brewery and our producers to bring local grains into the spotlight."

Greenmarket Wheat will be available for sale by the bottle on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Union Square Greenmarket.

Big Apple Crunch Returns October 24th!

In honor of National Food Day on October 24th, GrowNYC’s third annual Big Apple Crunch is taking over the city once more. Big Apple Crunch is a city-wide celebration of healthy eating, achieved the best way we know how - by crunching into apples, all over the Big Apple! Join us and our partner, Record Setter, as we aim to set the world record for “The Most Participants to Bite into an Apple in One Day.”

Looking Back

In 2013, we saw 1 million people (yes, you read that right!) participate in the Big Apple Crunch. Businesses, schools, organizations and individuals came together to take part in the “crunch heard ‘round the world.”

This Time Around

We’re a month away from the 2014 Big Apple Crunch, and more than 11,000 individuals have already registered to Crunch on October 24. We’re happy to say the Crunch has expanded all the way to Temple, Texas this year! In anticipation, groups are sharing their photos of apples and tagging #BigAppleCrunch.  
 

Ways to Be A Part of #BigAppleCrunch 2014

  • Find A Crunch: There are Crunches happening all over the city. Eight of our Greenmarkets and Youthmarkets will be hosting Crunches. Visit bigapplecrunch.org to find one near you.
     
  • Host Your Own Crunch:

    Step 1: Register! Let us know how many people you’ll be Crunching with (if you’re not sure, that’s fine - we will follow up with you after Oct. 24).

    Step 2: Tell your friends! Ask your friends, family, students and co-workers to join you for Big Apple Crunch 2014!

    Step 3: Get your apples! You can purchase locally grown apples at your local Greenmarket or Youthmarket. You can also place an order with Greenmarket Co. for a bulk delivery and pick up your order at a Youthmarket.

    Step 4: Crunch! Anytime during the day on October 24th. Don’t forget to take photos and tag #BigAppleCrunch when posting on social media!
     

  • Crunch Solo: crunch into an apple and take a selfie. Every person counts! Don’t forget to register and hashtag #BigAppleCrunch!
     
  • Become a Partner: As a partner, we encourage you to spread the word and engage in setting the world record with us by not only hosting your own Crunch but also urging others to do the same via outreach. You will be credited on our website and recognized on social media for your help in furthering the success of this big day!
     
  • Become a Sponsor: Click here to learn about the benefits of becoming a Big Apple Crunch 2014 sponsor.

Wherever you Crunch, make sure to register, so we can count you.  Every crunch counts!   For more information, please reach out to Ben Gordon at bgordon@grownyc.org

Happy Crunching!

 

Big Apple Crunch Takes New York!

The Big Apple Crunch is an attempt to set the world record for the "Most Participants in an Apple-Crunching Event." This event will take place on FOOD DAY - October 24, 2013. New Yorkers can participate by finding a crunch near you: at any of GrowNYC's Greenmarket Farmers' Markets or another location near you or by hosting a crunch yourself! We want it to be the crunch heard 'round the world!

Please pledge to take a bite with us at 12pm or at any time during the day that works for you. RecordSetter.com - a New York City based organization tracking new world records - will be tracking our progress towards having the "Most Participants in an Apple-Crunching Event!"

Register your team at bigapplecrunch.com

Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools


GrowNYC formed a partnership with Wagner Middle School in Manhattan called Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools, funded by NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin. Under one roof, we are providing support from five GrowNYC programs: Learn It Grow It Eat It, Grow to Learn School Gardens, Greenmarket Youth Education, Recycling Champions and Environmental Education. For an entire year, GrowNYC staff is educating young people about how to lead lives that improve their personal health and that of the environment around them; so that eating, growing, learning and going green become second nature.

On the recycling front, we recently helped Wagner launch a school-wide cafeteria recycling program – 1,200 students in grades 6-8 sorted everything from trays to milk cartons, placing them in their proper containers with help from dozens of student volunteers and Green Team members. 1,200 students recycling milk cartons for one year will save 31 trees!

To keep it fun, grades are competing to see who can reduce their overall waste – on a weekly basis, the amount of waste will be calculated and the winning grade announced on Fridays. At the end of every month, the grade that has reduced waste and recycled the most will receive special “Out-Lunch” privileges. Wagner has averaged a daily reduction of 9 bags of garbage or 17%, while generating an extra bag of recyclables.

The contest, designed by the Green Team, was the culmination of an outreach campaign they undertook to educate their classmates. Working with their advisor, teacher and sustainability coordinator Jessica Gordon, students created posters, morning announcements, and a PowerPoint. The success of the program could not have been possible without the support and help of Wagner’s administration and staff.

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