WE ACT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE CORBIN HILL FOOD PROJECT TEAM UP FOR A SUMMER BBQ SUPPLIED BY FARMERS OF COLOR
Showcases the Need for Infrastructure to Support New York State’s Farmers of Color
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2021
Contact: Chris Dobens, 718-679-8542, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harlem, NY — On Saturday, July 10, WE ACT for Environmental Justice hosted a summer BBQ with food supplied from farmers of color, thanks to the guidance and support of the Corbin Hill Food Project and the Chester Agricultural Center. In addition to WE ACT members, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, New York State Assemblymembers Carmen De La Rosa and Al Taylor, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and City Council District 7 candidate Shaun Abreu attended the event.
Racial justice is at the core of WE ACT’s work, building healthy communities by ensuring that people of color participate meaningfully in the creation of just and equitable environmental policies and practices, so the Harlem-based nonprofit wanted to support farmers of color for its annual member BBQ.
“Our members are integral to the work we do, helping us identify environmental issues in the community and advocate for policies to address them, and the annual BBQ gives us an opportunity to thank them for all the work they do,” explained Charles Callaway, Director of Organizing at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “This was also WE ACT’s first in-person event since the pandemic started, so we wanted to make it special. We try to use M/WBE resources whenever possible, and we were delighted to be able to feature food from farmers of color at this celebratory event.”
The Corbin Hill Food Project, a Harlem-based nonprofit and social enterprise dedicated to supplying fresh food to those who need it most, has a long history of working with WE ACT. It’s Founder & President Dennis Derryck is a long-serving Member – and Former Chair – of WE ACT’s Board of Directors, and the organization used to offer farm shares to WE ACT members prior to the pandemic. WE ACT reached out to Corbin Hill to help provide the food for the event.
Derryck worked with the Chester Agricultural Center, a nonprofit in Chester, New York growing clean, local food using organic management practices while working to build a stronger and more equitable regional food system. The Chester Agricultural Center addresses the most difficult challenge to farmers of color – access to land and an infrastructure for aggregation along with refrigeration. The Black Yard Farm located at Corbin Hill Road Farm supplied the organically grown chicken, with Corbin Hill Farm supplying honey and garlic scapes.
“Food and agriculture are a $42 billion industry here in New York, yet there are fewer than 140 Black farmers in the state, which is around 0.2 percent of its overall population of farmers,” said Dennis Derryck, Founder & President of the Corbin Hill Food Project and member of Black Farmers United NYS. “For organizations like WE ACT who want to support farmers of color, it’s a real challenge because there isn’t any infrastructure – no distribution network – for these farmers. That is where the Chester Agricultural Center, which works with a lot of farmers of color in the region. And we have been working with the Black Farmer Fund, Farm School NYC, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, and the Soul Fire Farm Institute to develop a more effective, long-term solution.”
In addition to serving food at the event, WE ACT had a variety of games and activities designed to teach members about environmental health and climate justice in a fun and interactive way. The organization gave out awards to members who have taken on leadership roles over the past year. And the first 50 attendees received bags of fresh vegetables from Corbin Hill.
Photo: (left to right) U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and WE ACT for Environmental Justice Co-Founder & Executive Director Peggy Shepard at the WE ACT for Environmental Justice Member BBQ on July 10, 2021
Photo: (left to right) WE ACT for Environmental Justice Co-Founder & Executive Director Peggy Shepard and New York State Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa at the WE ACT for Environmental Justice Member BBQ on July 10, 2021
Photo: New York State Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa (third from left), WE ACT for Environmental Justice Co-Founder & Executive Director Peggy Shepard (fifth from left), and New York State Assemblyman Al Taylor (sixth from left) with WE ACT staff and members at the WE ACT for Environmental Justice Member BBQ on July 10, 2021
Photo: (left to right) Corbin Hill Food Project Founder & President Dennis Derryck, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, WE ACT for Environmental Justice Co-Founder & Executive Director Peggy Shepard at the WE ACT for Environmental Justice Member BBQ on July 10, 2021
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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The Corbin Hill Food Project is a Harlem-based nonprofit and social enterprise dedicated to supplying fresh food to those who need it most through the distribution of local, farm fresh food to low-income communities and communities of color throughout New York City. Believing that access to fresh, affordable food is a basic human right, Corbin Hill’s long-term vision is to achieve food sovereignty, racial equity, and community ownership. Visit us at corbinhill-foodproject.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.