Community Food Alliance Planning New Garden Near McKinley School, Policy Potlucks

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's fast-growing Community Food Alliance gathered on June 10 to celebrate, quite literally, the fruits of their labor.

Members devote themselves to one of five areas of interest: agriculture, advocacy and policy, healthy food access, food and economics, and community engagement. Each division gave a short presentation showcasing its achievements.

The agricultural team unveiled plans for a new city garden in Archibald Park. It also encouraged (and ultimately convinced) restaurants and food vendors across town to use locally produced food. 

The advocacy and public policy division hosted its first two "Policy Potlucks" where distinguished speakers met with the public to discuss issues such as urban beekeeping and the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill over a potluck dinner.

Community engagement leaders provided cooking demonstrations and bilingual supermarket tours in addition to teaching healthy-living classes at New Brunswick Senior Center and the Greater Brunswick Charter School.

Inspired by the great success seen in Philadelphia and Camden, the healthy food access team adopted the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. It aims to stock convenience stores with fresh produce and dairy so that all residents may be in walking distance of a healthy food outlet.

The food and economics team sought to keep track of New Brunswick's food producers and to map the entire food system, comprised of food pantries, commercial kitchens, CSAs, and community gardens.

On Friday, the alliance hosted "Song Kitchen" at Elijah's Promise Culinary School on Livingston Avenue. The fundraiser for Elijah's Promise included dinner and musical performances by the Food Alliance All Stars.

More information on the work of the alliance and how to find food options that are sustainable, local, and wholesome is available at the NBCFA website: http://www.nbfood.org.