Funding addresses food insecurity & supports urban farming
Congressman Brian Higgins announced a federal grant totaling $100,000 awarded to Journey’s End Refugee Services. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and awarded through the Administration for Children and Families Office of Refugee Resettlement, Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program, the grant will support the Brewster Street Farm, an urban agricultural program that engages Western New York’s refugee community and addresses local food insecurity.
“Western New York has a long history of welcoming immigrants and refugees. Journey’s End provides new families with the support to create lasting foundations in our community,” Higgins said. “Federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides critical support for our growing refugee population. It not only invests in a better economic future for new families, but it also addresses food insecurity and nutrition challenges that urban areas often face.”
"We are so grateful that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services continues to support our refugee-run Brewster Street Farm, which has become a popular cultural and agricultural landmark in Buffalo,” said Lauren Dawes, farm program manager at Journey's End. “Thanks to this generous grant, refugee farmers will be able to continue growing culturally appropriate foods for their families and communities, earn supplemental income through our CSA program, and enhance their English language and marketing skills through sales of fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs at reasonable prices to the public."
Higgins’ team said, “The Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program provides grant funding to support agricultural production, marketing for agricultural produce, as well as training and technical assistance in the areas of agricultural production, marketing, business management, health and nutrition. Eligible organizations must implement strategies that encourage the development of agricultural and food systems that will improve the livelihoods of refugee families. These strategies provide sustainable or supplemental income, improved access to healthy food and better nutrition, and enhanced integration into communities by refugee families.
“Funding from the grant will primarily be used to support the Brewster Street Farm, a small urban farm in Buffalo that provides opportunities for refugees to grow and sell produce through their Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program, farmer’s markets, and local restaurants. The farm is home to the ‘Green Shoots’ program, an educational urban farming program that provides adult refugees with adaptive farming and marketing skills. The program addresses food insecurity among refugee communities, improves access to fresh and healthy food, and generates extra income for families. It teaches participants agricultural business and marketing skills, giving refugees a pathway toward becoming a farm mentor, gaining employment on a farm, starting a farm business, or joining a local community garden.”
This year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allocated $2,500,000 toward the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program. Journey’s End Refugee Services received one of about 25 grants awarded across the country.
Higgins’ team said, “Journey’s End Refugee Services is a community-based organization that provides refugees with resources and support they need to become successful, active and contributing members of the Western New York community. In addition to running the Brewster Street Farm, they also offer refugee resettlement services, job placement and workforce development, education, immigration legal services, and mentoring for refugees joining the Western New York community. To learn more, visit https://www.jersbuffalo.org/.”