‘Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern: ‘S:US Urban Farms Have The Potential To Transform Lives’
I have spent my life around food – working in the restaurant industry, travelling around the world telling the stories of our global food system and trying to make a real change for the better. As an S:US board member, I also spend time helping individuals with special needs to live with dignity in the community, direct their own lives and attain personal fulfillment. One of the ways those two sides of my life come together is the S:US Urban Farms.
Rooftop and community gardens are springing up in many urban areas, especially in low-income neighborhoods, often called food deserts, where produce is scarce and obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are off the charts.
At S:US, we see this phenomenon as something even greater than a way to bring healthy food to these neighborhoods. Our urban farms have the potential to transform lives – and we are harnessing that potential for the people of S:US.
S:US now has urban farms in 17 residences and day programs. The farms provide S:US individuals with full and part-time employment and volunteer opportunities in planting, tending and harvesting organic produce. The produce is shared with all S:US residents, extending the health and wellness benefits beyond just those who work on the farms. In addition, a year round series of workshops provides practical knowledge on topics as diverse as cooking, nutrition, canning, and more.
I was homeless for a year in NYC, and I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I can tell you from personal experience that programs like S:US Urban Farms make a difference. Participants, many of whom were once homeless too, improve their overall health and wellness, develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and become more responsible and financially independent. Food brings forth a vital resource of hope, dignity and respect to our S:US community.
And we can only continue to do this with your partnership and generosity.
Here’s How You Can Help:
- $25 Introduce a new plant variety to grow at our farm sites.
- $50 Provide all of the tools and materials to adopt a street tree outside of an S:US residence.
- $100 Purchase all of the necessary materials for a food preservation workshop allowing up to 50 individuals to participate.
- $250 Fund one S:US garden with landscaping supplies it needs for the start of its season, including annual flower plantings, mulch, and new tools and supplies.
- $500 Create a planter garden for a day habilitation program for
individuals with developmental disabilities.
- $1,000 Sponsor the annual launch of the growing season at our farming sites, including compost, topsoil, seeds, and netting.
Please Support S:US Today. Thank you for your support!