New York, June 19, 2013 Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (Cypress Hills LDC) is collaborating with State Farm and Local Initiatives Support Corporation New York City (LISC NYC) to expand its community food hub to include a greenhouse in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. This project is part of LISC NYCs Green and Healthy Neighborhoods initiative, a comprehensive program that aims to help low-income families live longer and healthier lives by developing neighborhood green spaces, expanding access to healthy food, reducing rates of asthma with green retrofits and making homes more affordable.
State Farm supports LISC NYCs Green and Healthy Neighborhoods initiative through a national grant distributed to nine LISC offices. This funding will help increase access to healthy food in Cypress Hills/East New York, Brooklyn, where fast and packaged food predominates. According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, a third of neighborhood residents are obese, more than 16% have some type of diabetes and the primary cause of death is heart disease.
On Friday, June 21, community residents and volunteers from Cypress Hills LDC, State Farm, LISC NYC, and the Brooklyn Grange will come together to erect a greenhouse for El Jardin Del Pueblo (The Peoples Garden.) In addition to serving as an educational tool and economic development model, this hydroponic greenhouse will provide fresh produce to the community year round through the harvesting of seeds for planting not only in El Jardin Del Pueblo, but gardens across the neighborhood. The greenhouse will also provide a venue for community events centered on food, its production and healthy preparation.
Were hoping to do two things with Green and Healthy Neighborhoods, said Colleen Flynn, manager of LISC NYCs program. Were focused on expanding access to nutritious food as part of our work to help low-income residents live better as well as greening the neighborhood to reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. But this is also an economic development program, and the greenhouse will support food-related enterprises to the neighborhood.
Denise Scott, Executive Director of LISC NYC, added: Expanding access to healthy food and greening up the Cypress Hill community is simply another part of the work were already doing with Cypress Hills LDC to develop decent housing, safer streets, good jobs, bustling retail and quality educational opportunities. Our goal is to raise standards of living and expand opportunity for residents who have long been struggling to get by.
Cypress Hills LDC, with support from LISC NYC and State Farm, transformed a 5,300-square foot vacant lot to create El Jardin Del Pueblo, a revolutionary hub of community building, urban agriculture and organic egg production. Completed in 2012, the garden features 30 raised garden beds developed with support from East New York Farms!; East New York's first community-run chicken coop facilitated by GrowNYC; a rainwater harvesting tank to help keep clean, fresh rainwater out of the sewer system; and a mural developed by Cypress Hills LDCs afterschool students and Arts ENY, a local nonprofit arts organization. The organization has partnered with local schools that will utilize the garden to incorporate school programs aimed at helping elementary and middle school students make healthier eating decisions. El Jardin Del Pueblo is increasing access to fresh, affordable healthy food, turning blight into a neighborhood asset and bringing neighbors together to create community.
Michelle Neugebauer, Executive Director of Cypress Hills LDC said: Were deeply grateful to State Farm for supporting LISC NYCs Green and Healthy Neighborhoods program through which we have retrofitted small homes and built green affordable housing, developed community gardens, educated young people in environmental stewardship and mobilized residents to create this healthy food hub and oasis in East New York. The residents have embraced the sustainability movement knowing that access to fresh food will lead to better health outcomes and longer lives for themselves and their children and a healthier, stronger and revitalized community.
State Farm is proud to provide grants to sustain LISC NYCs innovative economic development programs, said Naomi Johnson, New York Community Specialist, State Farm. Working with people who share our goals and vision is what State Farm is all about.
Activist residents and merchants formed Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC) in May 1983 to revitalize their community. CHLDC is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit community-based organization, serving more than 8,000 residents each year through a continuum of services and neighborhood development projects.
With community residents leading the way, the mission of CHLDC is to build a strong, sustainable Cypress Hills/East New York, where youth and adults achieve educational and economic success, secure affordable housing, and develop leadership skills to transform their lives and community. For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/a/cypresshills.org/cypress-hills-local-development-corporation/
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised $12 billion to build or rehab 289,000 affordable homes and develop 46 million square feet of retail, community and educational space.
Over the last 30 years, LISC New York City has invested more than $2 billion in New York City neighborhoods, in partnership with community development corporations (CDCs) and other local groups. With LISC NYC support, these organizations have developed close to 33,000 affordable homes and apartments and 2 million square feet of commercial space. For more information, visit http://www.lisc.org/nyc/.
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