Tag Archives: FOOD JUSTICE NOW!

ACTION ALERT! Support Urban Agriculture in Worcester!

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We Help Make Change in Your Local Food System!

For the past 3 years, we have been working with the City of Worcester on a zoning ordinance that would allow commercial farming in the City of Worcester.

Over the past year, the process has been stalled and community advocates have no longer been included in the development of the policy, or in the process for bringing it to the community.

We asked some of our key partners to start making phone calls to City Hall, and as a result Councilor Rivera asked for the Urban Agriculture Ordinance to be on the agenda at TONIGHT’s City Council meeting – Tuesday, January 31, at 7 p.m.

WE NEED YOU TO COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

How can you do that?

1. Come to Worcester City Hall, 3rd floor for the meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, January 31 at 7 pm. Bring a sign if you want! Having extra people in the room shows a lot of support!

2. Come and speak at City Council. Are you an aspiring small farmer? Are you a beekeeper? Are you an avid gardener that might like to sell some of what you grow? Come and share your story! You WILL make a difference!

3. If you can’t come but have something to say, send an email … we can read your remarks. Don’t forget to include your zip code as a City resident.

4. If you can’t come, call your City Councilor and let them know your interest in and support of the ordinance and that you won’t be able to attend the meeting in person, but that you’re supportive.

GET INVOLVED TODAY!

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Food justice in Worcester! REC’s Winter Mobile Farmers Markets roll into action!

From REC:

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The 2nd session of REC’s Winter Mobile Farmers Markets starts on Wednesday, February 1

It runs through Thursday, May 11!

Be sure to stop by one of our stops for any/all of your local vegetable, cage-free egg, grass-fed beef, and other speciality item needs!

WEDNESDAYS:

9-11am: Green Hill Towers
(In the Community Room)
27 Mount Vernon St, Worcester

12-2pm: Family Health Center of Worcester (1st Floor Lobby)
26 Queen St, Worcester

THURSDAYS:

8-10am: Seabury Heights
240-244 Belmont St, Worcester

11am-1pm: The Worcester Senior Center (in the Main Lobby)
128 Providence St, Worcester

REC FARMERS MARKETS … All summer and fall! Every day of the week! In your neighborhoods! BEST PRICES! MOST WELCOMING TO ALL WORCESTER FOLKS! SNAP ACCEPTED!

Arts and crafts! Music! Local farmers! Their veggies, fruits, breads and other goodies!

Support the REC farmers markets! They don’t discriminate – or try to create an all-white, homogeneous “boutique” farmers market in the inner-city, like some farmers markets do!

Diversity now!

Food justice now!

REC MARKETS now … open!   – R.T.

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Today! Congressman Jim McGovern Puts Spotlight on Hunger as  Health Issue!

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ICT editor Rosalie wishes there was a REAL, PHYSICAL FOOD HUB in Worcester – like they have in Greenfield. Fresh, locally grown produce sold at low cost to working families – or anyone. Surplus, slightly bruised produce sold in a no-nonsense warehouse open regular biz hours. That’s the ticket for so many folks in Worcester! pic: R.T.

McGovern Joins New York Hunger Summit with National and Regional Health & Hunger Leaders
 
National Hunger-Related Healthcare Costs Estimated at $160 Billion Annually
 

NEW YORK, NY – Today Congressman Jim McGovern will join national health and hunger leaders at the New York Hunger Summit to highlight the staggering costs of hunger as a health issue.

Joining today’s summit will be leaders from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), AARP, Feeding America, Hunger Free America, Harvard Law School, Yale University, Columbia University, United Way, as well as elected and anti-hunger leaders from across New York and the region. The summit is hosted by The Root Cause Coalition and the Alliance to End Hunger.
 
· WHO: Congressman Jim McGovern, National and Regional Health and Hunger Leaders
 
· WHAT: New York Hunger Summit: Hunger as a Health Issue
 
· WHERE: Westin New York at Times Square, 270 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036
 
·  WHEN: Today, April 4, from 9 AM to 3 PM
 
Congressman McGovern has long been a national leader on hunger, keeping the issue in the spotlight in Congress and calling for strong investments to help the 48 million Americans who struggle with hunger every year.

A recent report estimates that hunger-related healthcare costs the U.S. economy $160 billion annually.

Today Congressman McGovern will speak about the need to focus more on hunger as a health issue.
 
Excerpt from Congressman McGovern’s New York Hunger Summit Speech:
 
“Thanks to our federal anti-hunger programs like SNAP, or food stamps, WIC, and the school lunch and breakfast programs, we’ve been able to eliminate the severest cases of hunger and malnutrition that used to exist in this country.
 
 “But that doesn’t mean that hunger doesn’t still exist in this country. The face of hunger in the United States can be more subtle and less obvious. But here is the hard reality: There’s not a single congressional district in the U.S. that isn’t impacted by hunger.
 
“We’re the richest country in the history of the world and it’s shameful that even one person goes to bed hungry. And it’s even more shameful that many are children.
 
“For the 48 million Americans who struggle with hunger – access to nutritious foods – and enough – healthy food — is a real challenge. And we know from a growing body of research that hunger can have serious negative health consequences far beyond simply a growling stomach.
 
“There ought to be a greater focus on nutrition and all of the benefits good nutrition can have on prevent and overall health. And healthcare providers ought to know what hunger looks like.”
 

2016 Farmers Gala!! … parked in A.I.

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May 19, 2016

6:00 – 9:00 PM

At Tower Hill Botanic Garden
11 French Drive
Boylston, MA 01505

REC and Tower Hill Botanic Garden
invite you to support urban agriculture and Worcester’s food justice movement at our upcoming event!

2016 Farmers Gala!!

Featuring:

Spring tasting menu, by Pepper’s Fine Catering!

Local beer wall!

Silent and live auctions!

Live music!

All in a beautiful indoor/outdoor setting!

We hope to see you there!

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Tickets available now!

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets!

Questions? Contact the REC:
508-799-9139
Email: www.RECworcester.org

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Edith parked in fashion! … Worcester Earth Day clean ups? The city’s most equitable/best farmers markets? Community gardens and more? REC’s been a Woo shining star for decades!

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Garden with REC!

By Edith Morgan
 
It’s that time of year again: Worcester’s citywide Earth Day Clean-up happens April 9, and on that Saturday morning, from 8 a.m. to noon, we expect more than 1,000 volunteers to fan out throughout the city to pick up trash in public places. 

So, in preparation for the event, there was a gathering at the Worcester Senior Center last night, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., to get ready – and to eat and see friends, and take care of “business.”  
 
Earth Day has been observed here in Worcester by the REC and all our neighborhoods since 1989, and yearly we have gotten together to celebrate the successes of the REC projects, plan for the future, and pass out the materials needed for the clean-up.
 
A lively and excited group filled the large meeting-eating area at the Senior Center. After a brief welcome from REC Board President Julie Orozco, we got down to the business of eating the great assortment of “pot-luck” foods that attendees had brought.
 
Then, down to business business: President Orozco  gave a brief summary of her involvement with the organization,  and  Treasurer Ted Hudson summarized the year’s finances, which were detailed for all attendees in the annual report booklet that we all were given.
 
To complete the formal part of this annual meeting,  elections were then held (the slate was at each of our seats,  and everyone was duly introduced, sworn in, and welcomed by the group.)

The Regional Environmental Council has greatly impacted the Worcester Community:

Thywill Opare summarized the accomplishments of the YouthGROW program and its impact on the young people involved with it.

Rafaela Morales-Rosa talked about the Community Gardens program.

Winifred Octave spoke about how she came to be involved, not only in the yearly clean-ups but also in advocating for the great improvements to Grant Park, directly across the street from where she lives. Together with Deb Bolz she founded the Green Hill Neighborhood Association, which carries on improvements year-round.
 
Finally, Steve Fischer, REC executive Director, spoke about some of the accomplishments of these programs:

Steve said there were 50 sites throughout the the city, that last year, 50 tons of trash were collected, involving more than 1,000 volunteers.

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Trash all over our streets! Here’s a bunch of refuse illegally dumped, on Ward Street heading into the Canal District! pic:R.T.

He thanked the many great corporate and community organization sponsors.

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Spring is here!!! flower pics: Chef Joey
 

Before giving the assembled Earth Day Coordinators some tips for the Earth Day Clean-up activities, Steve mentioned some figures that gave us a better idea of the impact these programs are having in Worcester:

There are now 64 [REC] community and school gardens in Worcester;  

34 youth are employed
on two “urban farms” 

and the ever increasing number of REC farmers markets served 8,000 separate (unique) customers. Lest you get the idea that using these locally grown and sold foods are being consumed only by those who can afford the sometimes higher prices that fresh, pure fruits and vegetables bring, I was amazed to find that half of all sales went to users of SNAP benefits and the WIC Program – so people who need it most are getting great, healthy food, fresh and home-grown. That’s a real win-win!

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All Worcester families can afford to buy the fresh produce and more available at REC FARMERS MARKETS because the REC markets do not discriminate – keep some city residents out of the healthy food loop – AND ACCEPT SNAP cards! Some even double the amount of veggies you can buy with SNAP. FOOD JUSTICE NOW!! – R. Tirella pic: Ron O’Clair
 
So, I urge everyone to participate, join REC, help us make our neighborhoods pristine …

… and on April 9 – our city’s Earth Day celebration – fill as many of REC’s yellow trash bags as you can!

REC provides Earth Day clean-up site coordinators with bags, gloves, instructions, and advice.

If you want to help, or have questions, or want to know more, call REC at 508-799-9139. Or go to their website: www.RECworcester.org.