US Senator Gillabrand’s Representative visits M’Finda Kalunga Garden in Sara Roosevelt Park

Senator Kristen Gillabrand’s representative Patti Lubin visited the M’Finda Kalunga Garden as part of her tour of LES Community Gardens (also included were Children’s Magical Garden and Liz Christy).

Among other issues the Senator is trying to link NYC urban agriculture in community gardens with upstate farm agriculture.

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We talked about possible links to CSA’s and local community gardens. From the Senator’s website:

Connecting Fresh Produce with New Markets – Combating Food Deserts
More than 20 million people live in areas known as “food deserts,” areas that are out of reach of a supermarket, particularly common in communities of color, low income communities, and rural areas. This is a major barrier for families to reach fresh, nutritious food they need to lead healthy lives, and blocks the economic benefits of local supermarkets, such as jobs and associated retail. 

Senator Gillibrand is fighting for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative to help bring more grocery stores, farmers markets, food cooperatives and other options within reach by providing one time start-up grants and affordable loan financing. 

Increasing Access to Farmers Markets
Current participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are unable to use these benefits at farmers markets because farmers markets typically lack the wired Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) terminals  that process SNAP funds. This adds another barrier to fresh, nutritious produce for families in need, and farmers lose out on this business at their markets.

Senator Gillibrand is pushing to change this by providing farmers markets and other non-traditional retailers with wireless, mobile technology that can enable EBT terminals and process SNAP payments. 

New York is home to roughly 520 farmers markets, second only to California. More than 2.5 million New Yorkers received SNAP benefits in 2010. Connecting SNAP recipients with farmers markets can help these individuals lead healthier lives with better access to fresh produce, and help support this business for our state’s farmers. 

Photo from left:

K Webster – President Sara Roosevelt Park Coalition

Bob Humber – Director of the Elizabeth Hubbard Memorial Garden and Head Gardener of M’Finda Kalunga Garden

Kate Temple-West  – Children’s Magical Garden

Patti Lubin – Senator Kristen Gillabrand’s Representative

Aresh Javadi –  Children’s Magical Garden

2nd photo the same but instead of Aresh we have Aziz!

Aziz Dehkan- Executive Director of the New York City Community Garden Coalition

Photos taken by:

Charles  Krezell: Board member of the New York City Community Garden Coalition in cooperation with LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens.)


It was good to have the Senator interested in what we do!

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