A Veggie Mobile Market For The South Bronx!
My name is Tanya Fields, the executive director of The BLK ProjeK (pending 501 c 3). I started doing environmental justice work almost 6 years ago when I was faced with poor air quality and a severly asthmatic kid. As a single mom, feeding her children on a modest budget I started to realize that there was very little good food in my hood and that many of the ailments that my community and my family faced were a result of lack of access to fresh, quality, diverse food. Put that on top of the fact I live in one of the poorest congressional districts in the U.S. and you have a recipe for cycles of poverty, hunger and poor health.
But hey, I'm from the Bronx! We are a resilient bunch so three years ago I left my day job and started the BLK ProjeK which is committed to harnessing the local, good food movement to create economic development opportunities for women and youth in marginalized communities...like the South Bronx.
Since then we have held Bronx Grub meals, Mommy and Me yoga classes, guerilla farmed underdeveloped lots and I have educated many of my community members through workshops, food literacy classes, cooking demos and public speaking. However, we realized we needed to bump it up a notch and not only get food in our hood but be apart of reconstructing a broken food system and support local growers.
Hence, the idea of the Veggie Mobile Market was born. Working with Wassaic Community Farm, we are turning a former school bus into a Veggie-mobile! She runs on used veggie oil and will work with local aggregators to support local growers while simultaneously being able to provide high quality food to low-income communities at affordable prices. We will also use the bus as a platform for civic enagement and education. In collaboration with local community groups there will be music, cooking demos, curbside financial literacy and community building.
We're ready to fight back against food injustice and create opportunity. Health really is wealth!
How You Can Help us & Get a Goodie!
We need to raise $15,000! And we aren't considering you donors, oh no no no you are our INVESTORS. This is what your investment goes towards:
- Solar Panels - we are totally committed to sustainability. We don't want to contribute to more poor air quality in the Bronx so a large chunk of our change will be going to tricking out our Baby with solar panels to efficiently cool, heat and store our food.
- Shelving and Storage - We are going to replace the seats with shelving and storage, so that residents can see a wonderful display of fruits, veggies and healthy shelf stable items (nuts, seeds, herbs, rice, grains) but we don't have a lot of space, so we need to be really diligent
- New Transmission -Our Baby is a lil sick but it's totally curable! She just needs a Transmission Transplant. Our first $1,000 will go to getting her a new transmission
- Vitamixes for Everyone! - It has been shown that smoothies are a great introduction to raw veggies, especially for kids. Your investment will help us outfit our Baby with a couple of vitamixes for healthy smoothies and blended snacks.
- FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD - Last and damn sure not least is the FOOD. Working with organizations and companies like Corbin Hill Farm, Wholeshare and Wassaic Community Farm we will aggregate produce from local producers and provide them at affordable cost to our community. We will take EBT, WIC checks and of course good, ole fashion cash.
How This Will Make a Difference
This project is about food but it is about so much more. It will change the way we see ourselves in our community. It will allow us to hire marginalized folks and pay them a living wage. It will change the way people think about economic development and the way they see the Bronx. It will use food as an empowerment tool!
It is replicable. Successful fundraising and execution gives us the opportunity to get a bigger bus and then more eco-fueled buses and hire more folks and support more growers. This mobile market would be the FIRST IN THE FIVE BOROUGHS and it would happen in the Bronx. A community constantly held up as a place of persistent poverty.
Imagine the possibilities and help us make them a reality!
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can't contribute there are other ways you can help!
- Help us get the word out about this fantastic project! Share, share share!!!
- Join our mailing list and volunteer on our bus, at our farm during a workday or at future events and meetings.