Join Us for Grow for Change: A Benefit for GrowNYC

September 22, 2022
Posted in GrowNYC

Join us for an intimate night supporting GrowNYC with a fabulous 3-course meal and cocktails by Gotham, live music, and sparkling conversation all in a classic New York setting.

We'll celebrate Grow's 50+ year history of working block by block across the five boroughs to improve quality of life for all people. We'll honor Bank of America, a keystone funder in our work to launch NYC's first all-local food hub in the South Bronx in 2023, and for helping us add 860 learning gardens in NYC public schools.

New York City is better for bustling Greenmarkets, buzzing community gardens, conservation resources like composting and rainwater conservation, and education for all ages that fosters environmental stewardship.

As we turn the page to a new chapter in NYC, let's celebrate the real work we do together to make ours the greatest city in the world.

 

White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

September 20, 2022
Posted in Greenmarket

On September 28th, the Biden-Harris Administration will host the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, with the goal of ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

Conference Details and Agenda

From www.health.gov --

"Millions of Americans are afflicted with food insecurity and diet-related diseases—including heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes—which are some of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. The toll of hunger and these diseases is not distributed equally, disproportionately impacting underserved communities, including many Black, Latino, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and Native American communities. And hunger and diet-related diseases affect many more communities, including rural communities, people with disabilities, older adults, LGBTQI+ people, military families, and military veterans.

Lack of access to healthy, safe, and affordable food, and to safe outdoor spaces, contributes to impacting hunger, diet-related diseases, and health disparities. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges further.

On September 28, 2022, for the first time in over 50 years, the Biden-Harris Administration will host a White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The First White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health had a significant influence on the country’s food policy agenda for half a century. Now, again, we have the collective opportunity to chart a course for the future.

The Administration has set a goal of ending hunger and reducing dietrelated disease by increasing healthy eating and physical activity in the U.S. by 2030. This ambitious goal would mean that no Americans go hungry and fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. At the Conference, the Administration will announce a bold national strategy that outlines steps the federal government and other stakeholders will take to achieve this goal."

To end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity to reduce diet-related diseases and disparities, the Biden-Harris Administration has specified areas of action in five pillars:

1. Improve food access and affordability: End hunger by making it easier for everyone — including urban, suburban, rural, and Tribal communities — to access and afford food. For example, expand eligibility for and increase participation in food assistance programs and improve transportation to places where food is available.

2. Integrate nutrition and health: Prioritize the role of nutrition and food security in overall health, including disease prevention and management, and ensure that our health care system addresses the nutrition needs of all people.

3. Empower all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices: Foster environments that enable all people to easily make informed healthy choices, increase access to healthy food, encourage healthy workplace and school policies, and invest in public messaging and education campaigns that are culturally appropriate and resonate with specific communities.

4. Support physical activity for all: Make it easier for people to be more physically active (in part by ensuring that everyone has access to safe places to be active), increase awareness of the benefits of physical activity, and conduct research on and measure physical activity.

5. Enhance nutrition and food security research: Improve nutrition metrics, data collection, and research to inform nutrition and food security policy, particularly on issues of equity, access, and disparities.

The White House wants to hear your stories and experiences with hunger and/or diet-related diseases. Share Your Story here.

 

Bids Welcome! Interior Fit Out for the New York State Regional Food Hub

August 31, 2022

GrowNYC is currently soliciting bids for the Interior Fit Out of the New York State Regional Food Hub. Prospective bidders may find Instructions, along with drawings and specifications, at the link below. Please refer to the Instructions for any questions you may have.

Key Dates:

August 29th: Walkthrough of the project site at 298 Halleck Street, Bronx, NY. The tour will promptly begin at 10am. A recording and photos of the walkthrough are available here: Interior Walkthrough.  

September 12th: RFI’s are due. 

September 26th: Responses to RFIs will be delivered and posted here: RFI Responses

October 17th: Final bids are due by 4pm. Please send sealed, physical copies in accordance with the Bid Instructions. 

October 18th: Bids will be opened. 

 

Please see the Bid Instructions for further details. Thank you!

GROWNYC - Interior Bid Instructions.pdf

 

We're hiring - join the GrowNYC Team!

June 23, 2022
Posted in GrowNYC

 

Work at GrowNYC Food Access and Food Scrap Drop-off Sites! 

Are you passionate about food access, local agriculture & food systems, and/or mitigating climate change through waste reduction and composting?  

GrowNYC is currently hiring field staff for immediate start to work at Greenmarkets, Farmstands, and Food Scrap Drop-off Sites. 

We have multiple openings for immediate start, especially in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  

See below for more info on each position and click each job title to view the detailed job description. 

Compost Coordinator & Compost Coordinator - Bronx & Bilingual Spanish $19/hour (part-time)  
Compost Coordinators are responsible for collecting food scraps and conducting outreach each week at their assigned FSDOs. They promote food-scrap diversion for composting as an alternative to conventional waste disposal and educate NYC residents on a wide variety of waste reduction and landfill diversion topics. 

Compost Driver $26/hour (part-time) 
Compost Drivers are responsible for the hauling and delivery of food scraps and supplies between food scrap drop-off sites and local compost processing facilities. Qualified candidates combine a passion for waste reduction and landfill diversion with the practical skills needed to transport food scraps through NYC. 

Seasonal Market Manager $19/hour (part-time and full-time)  
Market Managers are Greenmarket’s representatives to the public. On a daily basis, they work to build healthy communities and create an environment where local farmers can sell their products and keep their farms viable. The Market Manager position is seasonal and is comprised of three equally important pillars – operations, promotions, and food access. 

Seasonal Farmstand Site Staff $19 or $20/hour (part-time) 
The Farmstand Staff will help sell fruits, vegetables, and other products outdoors throughout New York City under the supervision of the Farmstand Site Lead (rotating position.) The Farmstand Staff will be cross trained on all aspects of the Farmstand Site Lead role,and may be asked to fill in as the Lead as necessary. Please note that some Site Lead locations require driving and therefore a drivers license. The Farmstand Staff position is seasonal and is part-time or full-time depending on availability of applicant. 

Click here to view all job openings and apply now! 

Note to applicants on COVID safety: GrowNYC is committed to stopping the spread of Covid-19. All new hires must be able to provide proof of vaccination during the onboarding process. Employees are also required to follow COVID safety protocols as the situation evolves, which may include daily health screenings, mask wearing, and other mitigation measures as deemed necessary by local conditions, mandates, and applicable guidelines. 

About GrowNYC

GrowNYC is a 52-year-old environmental nonprofit organization helping more than 3 million New Yorkers by providing essential services and taking action to make NYC a livable city, one where every person can enjoy a healthier, more sustainable life. GrowNYC Programs include:

  • Our network of Greenmarkets, Farmstands, Fresh Food Box sites, and food distribution hub ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food. 
  • We blanket the five boroughs with resources like food scrap and clothing collections to make waste reduction, recycling, and composting easy for all. 
  • We build and support community and school gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, training, grants and more. 
  • We provide 70,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment. 

Job Requirements:

  • We are looking for early-risers who can work outside in various weather conditions and lift heavy equipment.
  • Age 18+
  • Available May - November, including weekend days

Additional Skills Valued (but not required):

  • Proficient in languages other than English
  • Valid New York State Drivers license and an interest in driving in NYC

Plastic Free Lunch Day (PFLD)

June 9, 2022

ALL TOGETHER NOW!  

P.S. 971 School of Math, Science, and Health Living – a school inspired by PLASTIC FREE LUNCH DAY!  

The first ever Plastic Free Lunch Day (PFLD) in NYC public schools happened on May 16th. All over the city, students joined the Office of Food and Nutrition Services (OFNS) in a  monumental effort to create as little single-use plastic waste as possible. And it was a huge success; some students even called the day spectacular! 

The effort was brought about through a partnership between OFNS and NYC-based environmental education organization, Cafeteria Culture. During PFLD, elementary schools with onsite kitchens received plastic-free lunch service, with no plastic packaging and or utensils used during the school-provided lunch.  

To measure the impact of PFLD, many schools conducted plastic waste audits to compare their plastic waste on PFLD to regular days. This data is critical to pushing us closer to eliminating single-use plastic waste from lunch service. As Robert Markuske, Sustainability Coordinator and Instructor of Marine Policy and Advocacy at the New York Harbor Schools, says to his students, “You can’t change what you can’t measure.”  

Here’s how Plastic Free Lunch Day went down at one Brooklyn elementary school.: 

Preparations for Plastics Free Lunch Day (PFLD) at PS 971 began in April when founding Principal, Dr. Ruth Stanislaus, and Dr. Kerri Durante, Science Specialist D20 STEAM Coach, met to schedule school-wide PFLD-themed school events. 

Two weeks before PFLD, Dr. Durante taught all K971 students about single use plastics, helping her scholars understand the harmful impact plastics pose to humans and wildlife. Students learned about the many everyday items they use that contain plastic, as well as about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a gyre of marine debris particles and microplastics in the central North Pacific Ocean. Learning about plastic waste in the ocean just before PFLD inspired the school community to action. 

With support from GrowNYC Zero Waste Schools, Dr. Durante and her student Green Team conducted two plastic waste audits using our Plastic Waste Audit guide. This data would be compared with data from PFLD to see just how much plastic was reduced. Here are some steps they took to ensure their data was accurate: 

  • Before and during the audits the Green Team and Dr. Durante spoke with OFNS staff; they also worked with the school aides and peers to make sure everyone was on board with the audits.  

  • The Green Team used Cafeteria Culture’s Data Collection sheet to record the quantities and types of single-use plastics at lunch. 

  • Green Team members took photos during the audit, capturing the many soft and hard plastics that are used as food packaging. The photographs recorded their process, the plastics that they observed, and the data collected.  

During the first audit, the Green Team noticed a lot of uneaten recoverable food, which led them to create the school’s first share table in the cafeteria! They also wanted to address the plastic Ziplock bags and single use water bottles they observed, so they requested reusable snack bags and water bottles from GrowNYC Zero Waste Schools for students who did not have them. Additionally, the school held, “Bring your own Reusable Utensil Day,” and families were given a cost comparison of a zero-waste lunch (using reusable containers) vs. packing single-serve disposable lunch and snack options.  

On Plastic Free Lunch Day (PFLD) May 16, 2022! 

The Office of Food and Nutrition Services (OFNS) team at PS 971 was ready to go! Using the OFNS video from Cafeteria Culture to prep, they successfully served a lunch meal without unnecessary single-use plastics! Congratulations to the OFNS team at P.S. 971 – Vinny Farrauto, Hugo Bonita, school cook, Tony Ruiz, and OFNS manager Dana Hickley.  

Created by CafeteriaCulture.org in partnership with NYC Department of Education Office of Food and Nutrition Services and Office of Sustainability. This video shows you how to prepare the PLASTIC FREE LUNCH DAY MENU for
Monday May 16th!

(You can click the time code below to jump to each part)
00:38 PIZZA
02:01 PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY or SUNFLOWER BUTTER SANDWICHES
04:50 CHEESE SANDWICHES
07:04 BROCCOLI
08:36 ORANGES
09:58 SALAD BAR


Thank you for helping to make PLASTIC FREE LUNCH DAY a success!
Next, watch Plastic Free Lunch Day - get ready, NYC schools! https://vimeo.com/695683120


More info at www.plasticfreelunch.org

Here are some key actions the school took: 

  • At the OFNS flavor station, individual sauce packets were replaced with a large reusable squeeze bottles filled with dressing.  

  • Announcements were made in the morning and during lunch reminding everyone it was PFLD. 

  • Students and staff brought in their reusable utensils and bottles to school. 

The Green Team made sure to conduct another plastic waste audit to capture all this reduction and guided their peers on what to sort during lunchtime. Their results showed that OFNS lunch service created significantly less plastic waste. For instance, they recorded 93 utensil wrappers during the first audit and 161 during the second; but on Plastic Free Lunch Day, they noticed the number of utensil wrappers used reduced to 0. Check out more of their findings below: 

Item Before PFLD (May 5) Before BFLD (May 10) On PFLD (May 16)
Utensil Wrapper 93 161 0
Plastic condiment wrapper 5 128 3
Food Wrapper 5 108 5
Plastic cup 206 230 57

When Dr. Durante and the Green Team looked at their month of outreach and education about reducing plastic waste, they reported some other key takeaways: 

  • Their cafeteria share table is a great and simple way to reduce food loss and provide food to those who need it. 

  • Many students continued to bring their reusable utensils. 

  • After distributing reusable bottles, there was less single-use plastic bottle waste. 

  • Plastic Free Lunch Day was fun even if it was just for one day. 

There is more work to be done, like getting rid of plastic cups by the water station, sauce packets, prepackaged utensil packets. So, they are using their Green Team meetings to further their cafeteria plastic waste advocacy project. 

Check out some images of the P.S. 971 school team in action

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