The food and nutrition programs at RiseBoro invite our communities to build a vibrant, robust food system with and for all of us. Food is central to how we live our lives - our work, our health, our neighborhoods. Our food should be a source of joy, connection, health, and solidarity. From building farmers markets and urban farms, to training and supporting cooperative businesses, and assisting with nutrition progams, we invite community members to take control of our food - to create a food system that is just and equitable, that allows the people and places we care about to thrive, that works for all of us.

Farmers Markets

The RB Farmers Markets has responded quickly to the many changes brought about by COVID-19. Our markets will continue to bring healthy, nutritious, fresh food to the community all while implementing measures that ensure your and our safety. Join RiseBoro every Saturday & Sunday from May through November to enjoy fresh produce, local products, and experiences that celebrate Bushwick’s multicultural heritage and to celebrate the bounty that our local farmers bring us.

We speak English and Spanish, accept cash and credit at all our markets, and encourage the use of SNAP, WIC and other nutrition benefits ready at our Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday markets.

Cash, credit, SNAP and WIC accepted ∙ FREE culinary & nutrition demonstrations

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Flowers. Outdoors farmers market, customers, staff, and produce. Outdoors farmers market and staff. Outdoors farmers market, customers, and staff.

Urban Agriculture

Bushwick Grows Community Farm

The Bushwick Grows Community Farm offers Bushwick residents the opportunity to learn, get involved, and be a part of leading the way for a greener Bushwick. Established in 2018, Bushwick Grows is an ecological learning center. We produce over 1000 lbs. and over 200 varieties of fruits, veggies, and flowers each year and we share this bounty with our community. The site demonstrates ecological, sustainable practices including: A compost toilet, grey water system, permaculture growing, we have 3 chickens who speed-up our 3-bin compost system, and we’ll soon be installing solar panels to power our space.

The Farm offers year-round educational programs both for RiseBoro’s youth center participants for students at the neighboring All City Leadership Academy.

In the summer, the Farm is abuzz with teenagers through the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program who build Farm infrastructure (In just 6 weeks in Summer 2019, they built an outdoor kitchen and a pond!), learn about growing food and farm ecosystems, and maintain our farm’s compost system. Are you a young person looking to get involved and get paid for it? Check out NYC’s summer youth page for application information!

Families, Adults, and Seniors are also welcome at the Farm. Every Saturday from April to October, Bushwick Grows invites everyone to gather at the farm for weekly workdays from 10am – 1pm, followed by Farming and Culinary workshops starting at 2pm.

Got food scraps? We’re a DSNY community compost collection site. Come drop them off and we’ll turn them into fertile soil for our plants to grow.

Saratoga Grows! Senior Garden Program 

In partnership with our Saratoga Senior Center at Saratoga Village Houses (located at 930 Halsey Street on the Bushwick/Bedford-Stuyvesant border) and with the support of L+M Development Partners, RB offers our seed-to-plate food and farming program, Saratoga Grows! The program takes place at the on-site greenhouse, four outdoor raised beds, and in the Center’s cafeteria. 

The primary purpose of Saratoga Grows! is to engage residents and community members from across Saratoga Village Houses in culturally-competent food cultivation and nutrition literacy. The program demonstrates best growing practices from seed to harvest with a seasoned instructor. Harvested herbs and vegetables are incorporated into healthy meal preparations. Participants connect with their food, learn new recipes, and discuss fresh food and health strategies. 

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Child's hands holding egg. Growing unripe tomatoes. Adult woman holding/organizing flowers. Sun shining through tree.

Food Pantry

RiseBoro’s’ food Pantry provides food for the community free of charge. Community members can stop by the Wellness Rising office located at 518 Bushwick Avenue during pantry hours and receive a bag of fresh produce that is meant to feed a family of four for a week. No ID is required. For pantry hours or questions please call (917) 810-3156.  Se habla Español.

Food Pantry employees packing food for redistribution. Food Pantry employees packing food for redistribution. Packed food for redistribution. Scott Short, RiseBoro CEO, packing food for redistribution.

 

Cosecha

RiseBoro, together with Brooklyn Packers, a worker-owned food distribution cooperative that sources, portions, and packages fresh produce; and Pavia Family farm, a 15-acre local family-run farm located in Northern New Jersey, launched a 12-week staff-only pilot of Cosecha, a weekly farm share distribution program in Bushwick in the fall of 2019. 

Given the overwhelming popularity of the pilot, we fully launched Cosech in the summer of 2020 to all Bushwick residents. For just $23 a week, you can get a bag full of fresh, local food, grown by nearby Latinx farmers. We also accept Cash, Credit/Debit, Health Bucks, WIC Farmers Market Checks, and EBT/SNAP. 

WHY COSECHA? 

As a Northeast Brooklyn neighborhood that suffered from long-term divestment and neglect, Bushwick is a community that exhibits the food-related health and economic ills that accompany lack of access to the abundance of fresh farm products that the local region has to offer. 

With 37% of Bushwick residents relying on SNAP benefits for food security, weekly farm share programs offer greater food access as well as the added benefit of supporting Black and Latine small businesses.

In order to determine community interest, RiseBoro, launched a Comprehensive Community Food and Health Survey in 2018 to uncover residents’ food priorities. We collected over 1,100 responses, with 54% of respondents indicating they would be interested in a “Weekly fresh fruit/veggie box from a local farm.” You asked for it, we are delivering. 

WHAT IS IN A COSECHA BAG? 

Our farmers grow a wide margin of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Each week our members receive a Cosecha bag filled with a variety of locally grown produce. The variety of veggies in your bag will vary from week to week, bags are approximately 10-15 pounds and contain 9-12 items (individual items, bunches, or weighted foods). 

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Hot cooked eggplant. Bienvenidos a Cosecha sign. With onions, potatoes, green leafy vegetables. Cosecha bags. Corn, potatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, kale. Tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, kale, and eggplant.

Food Support Connections

RiseBoro has been a partner with The United Way of NYC since the inception of the program in 2003. The Food Support Connections team works with community residents to assist them enroll and maintain SNAP benefits, which offer subsidized food and nutrition for eligible families. The FSC team works hand-in-hand to ensure that all clients are properly screened and assessed for eligibility, and that their applications for the benefit are completed correctly and efficiently.

For eligibility on SNAP benefits, please follow New York State requirements on ny.gov/services/apply-snap

What We Do

  • SNAP enrollment and recertification
  • Application support and follow-up
  • Referrals for job training, adult education, and healthcare enrollment

Home-delivered Meals for Seniors

RiseBoro provides home-delivered meals to homebound seniors in multiple Brooklyn communities, including: Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bedford Stuyvesant, Fort Green, Crown Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Park Slope, and Red Hook. We prepare and deliver 1,500 hot nutritious meals per day from our Borinquen Plaza Senior Center.

Hot meals are prepared and delivered 6 days per week and a chilled meal is delivered on Saturday for Sunday. The program prepares meals that meet special requests including Asian, vegetarian, lactose and low sodium diets.

We partner with United Jewish Organizations (UJO) of Williamsburg and the Polish Slavic Center in Greenpoint to provide ethnically appropriate meals in Community District #1, and we subcontract with Shalom Senior Center in Crown Heights to provide Glatt Kosher Meals in their community. The home delivered weekend meals are provided under contract with Citymeals-on-Wheels.

Food Democracy

The Central Brooklyn Food Democracy Project advances a culture of healthy food, resilience and cooperative self-determination among long-term residents who are at risk of residential and commercial displacement in Central Brooklyn. In direct response to a pattern and practice of food redlining in Central Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Movement Center and RiseBoro, two organizations with decades of experience in building self-determining economies, have partnered to imagine a neighborhood-based food system powered by a new generation of consumer- and worker-owned cooperative food enterprises.  Our 2020 – 2021 Worker Coop Academy is in full swing, with our first cohort graduating in the late Spring. Look out later this summer for information about how to be a part of our 2021-2022 cohort! 

The Project is building an integrated food economy in Central Brooklyn while advancing a culture of healthy food, resilience, and cooperative development. The project strategically positions a new generation of entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers in a neighborhood food system powered by cooperative enterprises.

Incubated by the Brooklyn Movement Center, the Central Brooklyn Food Coop (The Food Coop) is a game-changing initiative in one of the most rapidly gentrifying areas in NYC. Set to open in 2021, It has been organizing since 2014 and is the nerve center and engine of the project. As a Black-led retail food cooperative, it will enable thousands of low- and moderate-income residents to nourish themselves with healthy and affordable food. As a consumer-owned coop, each member holds an equity stake in the coop and helps lower operational costs through an investment fee and three hours of monthly labor.

The Food Coop serves as the docking station for the project’s interlocking components: the food education curricula/culinary training, and support for existing and new worker-owned food businesses.

RiseBoro will leverage the market base and opportunities generated by the Food Coop to form business relationships and establish at least six micro-enterprises along a food supply/demand value chain that will include food growing, sourcing, production, warehousing, packing, distribution, and catering, creating at least 35 new jobs. RiseBoro staff are already supporting two worker coops– a Community Chef Coop (still in development, see below) and the Brooklyn Packers (since 2015, a food packing and distribution service)–that are poised to do business with the Food Coop.

A group of Community Chefs have served thousands of Central Brooklyn residents and organizations since 2014 and are developing the Food Coop’s human capital and food literacy. Their offerings include culinary courses for adults, families, and seniors; as well as one-time cooking demonstrations in order to promote The Food Coop; and they will cater events among the Food Coop community of families, while training members of the Food Coop to lead healthy sustainable lives. The thousands-strong CBFC membership will serve as a base camp for self-renewing food education, advocacy and mobilization.

A UNIFIED VISION OF COMMUNITY FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

Collectively, these project features will be points along a natively established, farm-to-plate food pipeline. The CBFC and the worker coops are democratically run by low- and moderate-income consumer- and worker- owners, respectively. Together, they will give rise to a wholesale/retail eco-system of local food growers, aggregators, transporters, packagers, sellers and educators.

UPDATES FROM THE FOOD DEMOCRACY PROJECT

Our 2021-2022 Worker Coop Academy will get started in late September, 2021. Interested in starting a food-based coop? Pre-register for an info session here!

For more info, contact Ashleigh Eubanks: aeubanks@riseboro.org

NOVEMBER 2020

RiseBoro’s very first Worker Cooperative Academy launched with a kick-off weekend on October 24th -26th! The Academy is taking participants through an intensive incubation experience to prepare their businesses for launch and sustainability. Once the coops launch, they will be part of a newly formed network of democratically-run, predominantly Black businesses that will support each other and the Central Brooklyn community with good food services and products.

And, with that, we’d like to announce the three groups going through incubation this year!

BEAUTIFULLY FED FOOD

Beautifully Fed Food is a womxn-led collective of Black and Brown people from African and Latin-American Diasporas.  We are trained in culinary arts, nutrition, and food justice with a mission to encourage the celebration of our cultures, honor the wisdom of our bodies, and practice the traditions of our ancestors through food. Real food that nourishes us, heals us, and provides us comfort, especially now, one delicious bite at a time through the plant-forward culinary classes and food-justice education programs we teach.

MEDICINAL HERB FARM

We are co-launching a Queer, Trans (QT) Black and Brown centered cooperative farm and forest in the North East that grows, shares and teaches about medicinal plants and traditions. Our collective of healers, farmers, and facilitators believes healing and liberation are interconnected, ongoing processes that require cultivating reciprocal relationships with the earth. Our goals are to honor the ancestors; respect the sacred; and cultivate interconnected resilience among our QTBIPOC community and the earth.

SISTERS 3 TEA

Sisters 3 Tea is a family owned beverage manufacturing company founded in Brooklyn, New York in 2020. We produce sparkling botanicals from Caribbean herbs and fruits. Our family is dedicated to elevating Caribbean culture and crafting a world where health and pleasure are synonymous.

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Zoom Meeting and smiling faces. Zoom meeting, members smiling. 5 Black family members of Sisters 3 Tea smiling. Queer Black and Brown folx smiling holding flowers and plants.

Events

Cooking with Chef Nikki

Virtual RB Kitchen presents Cooking with Chef Nikki. On October 23, join us at 12 PM for Cooking With Chef Nikki (English session), a weekly cooking demonstration with RiseBoro Culinary Educator, Nikki Warsop-Lindo. The demos will alternate between English and Spanish, every other Friday. Only on our Facebook Live.

Facebook Live