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Houghton Jones Urban Ag

Houghton Jones Urban Ag



Revised presentation made at 2009 Cities of Promise Conference in Lansing, MI.

Revised presentation made at 2009 Cities of Promise Conference in Lansing, MI.



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    Houghton Jones Urban Ag Houghton Jones Urban Ag Presentation Transcript

    • Houghton-Jones/Saginaw East-Central Neighborhood Association (HJ/SENA) Supporting Healthy Youth, Families, and Communities Presented by: Bakari M. McClendon, HJ/SENA President
    • History & Mission
      • HJ/SENA officially organized and incorporated as Houghton-Jones Neighborhood Task Force, Inc. in the fall of 1992 as a 501©3 non-profit neighborhood improvement organization.
      • The mission of HJ/SENA is to foster a sense of community in the area and to empower the residents and stakeholders to restore the neighborhood to safety, beauty and comfort.
    • Programs & Activities
      • HJ/SENA Resource Center
        • THRIFT STORE “Restored Treasures” ($1 Sale!)
      • All Around the Neighborhood Summer Day Camp
      • “ Saginaw Seedfolks” Youth Farm Stand
      • Neighborhood Watch / Block Club meetings
        • Saginaw Police Dept. Community Policing Program
      • Saginaw Urban Food Initiative
    • The “Big” Picture
      • “ Food is our medium for achieving broader outcomes in community development and public health and addressing disparities in opportunities and quality of life.” – Brahm Ahmadi
    • The “Bottom Line”
      • “ People who own property feel a sense of ownership in their future and their society. They study, save, work, strive and vote. And people trapped in a culture of tenancy do not.”
        • – Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
    • Urban Farming Overview
      • Goal: Provide healthy foods and good jobs while educating the community members.
      • Secure vacant/ abandoned lots from the Saginaw County Land Bank Authority
      • Establish a network of lots-turned-gardens
      • Manage micro-farmers’ markets
      • Provide technical support for EBT/WIC/ Senior Project FRESH
      • Provide nutritional education
      • Establish year-round “good food” corner stores /retail locations to scale
    • Why are Youth Farm Stands Important?
      • "More than 75% of children ages 6-11 do not eat the minimum of 3 servings of vegetables or 2 servings of fruit daily.”
    • Why are Youth Farm Stands Important?
      • "This epidemic increase in childhood overweight is particularly prevalent among African American and Hispanic children, with more than 21% of these groups meeting the classification of overweight. It is estimated that about half of overweight school-agers and 70% of overweight teens will remain obese into adulthood."
    • Why are Youth Farm Stands Important?
      • The Michigan Economic Development Corporation warns that diet-related healthcare costs -- $12.3 billion annually for cardiovascular diseases alone– are slowing economic growth and job creation in the state.
    • Why are Youth Farm Stands Important?
      • From US Surgeon General: Overweight and obesity are associated with heart disease, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis, breathing problems, and psychological disorders, such as depression.
    • Same old song….?
      • In Michigan, the number of children participating in free and reduced lunch programs has also grown.
      • U.S. Census reports that “the only state in the nation where poverty actually increased was Michigan” (Roelofs, 2008b).
      • The average daily lunch program at the Eastside Soup Kitchen in Saginaw has increased by 80 diners over the past two years(Long, 2008).
      • Antidotal evidence abounds of elderly who are forced to choose between prescription medicine or food and a growing movement toward self-sufficiency through backyard gardening.
    • Definition of Terms
      • Food deserts are large and isolated geographic areas that cluster that have no or distant grocery stores (Gallagher)
      • Food Security is all persons in a community having access to culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate food through local, non-emergency sources at all times (Comm. Food Sec. Coalition)
    • Who cares about food security?
      • Distance influences
        • How much we pay for food
        • The type of food we buy
      • In the city of Saginaw
        • 14.7 % of households do not have a car
        • 24.7% of families live in poverty
        • 25.6% of people 21 to 64 reported a disability
    • Who cares about food security?
      • In 2006, 35.5 million Americans lived in “food insecure households,” comprising 22.8 million adults and 12.6 million children. (United States Dept. of agriculture, economic research service, 2006 http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FoodSecurity/trends.htm
      • “ Many in LMI communities are forced to patronize liquor stores selling Cheetos and Snickers—if they’re lucky maybe a potato or banana—all at 30-70 percent higher prices than regular stores.” (Brahm Ahmadi in terview. Feb 2008)
    • Benefits of Urban Agriculture
      • The production, processing and distribution of locally grown edible agricultural products that will lead to an increase in food security and overall public health . CFSC
      • Urban agriculture is a major instrument against hunger and poverty . CFSC
      • The potential for food production is great, and dozens of model projects are demonstrating successfully that urban agriculture is both viable and necessary. CFSC
    • Youth Farm Stand Project Basics
      • The initiative brings young people together to:
        • Experience healthy food and their local food system
        • Think and learn about nutrition and healthy food choices, and
        • Run a “green collar” business: selling healthy food via a farm stand
    • Cultural Relevance through Art
    • Cultural Relevance through Art
    • Cultural Relevance through Art
    • Youth Farm Stand: Nutrition, Entrepreneurship & Gardening
    • Youth Farm Stand: Nutrition, Entrepreneurship & Gardening
    • Youth Farm Stand: Nutrition, Entrepreneurship & Gardening
    • Youth Farm Stand: Nutrition, Entrepreneurship & Gardening
    • Saginaw Urban Food Initiative
    • Green Cardinal Afterschool Program SVSU Environmental Sociology mentors & Houghton-Jones Youth SVSU Greenhouses
    • Our Partners
      • City of Saginaw & Saginaw Police Department
      • Saginaw Community Foundation & Heroes for Kids
      • Dow Chemical Company
      • Saginaw County Land Bank
      • United Way of Saginaw County
      • Saginaw Valley State University
      • Michigan State University Extension
      • Good Neighbors’ Mission
      • Catholic Worker Houses (Mustard Seed & Emmaus)
      • Houghton & Heavenrich Elementary Schools
      • Various Faith-Based & Human Service agencies
    • “ Heart” work is Hard Work!
      • Looking outside for support is good, but ALSO empowering from the inside is better
      • “ Teach a woman to fish…” Parts I & II
      • Questions?
      • THANK YOU!
      • For more info:
      • www.houghtonjones.org