Did you know the Campaign Against Hunger has its own farm right in Rockaway? On Thursday, September 20, the group is welcoming the community for a dinner and ceremony to recognize community members who have gone above and beyond in the areas of stewardship and community giving, including Sarah and Chris Romulo, Dr. Camesha Grant and Rev. Even D. Gray of Macedonia Baptist Church.
The Campaign Against Hunger (CAH), an organization first established as the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger in 1998, has a mission of ending hunger by distributing food, as well as empowering families by offering support for social services and providing nutritional and agricultural education. The Bed-Stuy food pantry expanded by opening its own farm in Brooklyn and after Hurricane Sandy, the organization expanded again by opening another farm at 385 Beach 45th Street in 2013. The half-acre space is used to grow fruits, vegetables and edible flowers, and houses 40 chickens that provide farm fresh eggs. “Over the course of the harvest season, we have had 20,000 pounds of produce from the Far Rockaway farm and the one in Brooklyn,” Mariah Harris, CAH’s Development and Communications Associate, said.
On Thursday, September 20, the Far Rockaway farm is hosting its second annual Growing Community Event, It’s a Farm Affair. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., all are welcome to come check out the farm and enjoy food prepared by Chef Troy Fischer. There will also be music and dancing, a raffle, the ability to buy fresh produce at the farm’s farmer’s market, plus a special ceremony recognizing those who know about giving back to the community. “We wanted to honor members of the community that are going above and beyond community service by dedicating themselves to bettering the community. We pick a handful of people based on the work they do to honor each year,” Harris said.
Dr. Camesha Grant, Vice President of Community Connections for the Food Bank for NYC, is among the honorees. “Dr. Grant has done outstanding work throughout the city in terms of addressing hunger. We’ve worked with her in the past and she’s been a great champion of the cause,” Harris said.
Owners of the local gym, CROM Physical Culture, Sarah and Chris Romulo, are also among the honorees. “They focus on the physical activity aspect of health and nutrition that our organization is dedicated to. Everyone has nothing but wonderful things to say about them and their business, so we thought who better to honor in the community than these two? They have a great gym space and they’re wonderful people,” Harris said.
The third honoree is Rev. Evan D. Gray of Macedonia Baptist Church. “He’s been very involved in the community. Our staff members attend his church and have really wonderful things to say about him and his dedication to improving the community and his congregation,” Harris said.
Thursday’s event is free, but you can register to attend at www.eventbrite.com/e/growing-community-its-a-farm-affair-tickets-48811106333
“We’re expecting about 80 to a hundred people,” Harris said. “It’s going to be a fun event and a good way for the community to get together and know their neighbors and become familiar with the farm.”
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