Growing a Just Environment in the South Bronx

When the Hunts Point Produce Market opened, they didn’t have people like Tanya Fields in mind. I suppose this reality is the reason the BLK ProjeK exists–because the dollars that are trucked in and out of the Bronx do not serve the Bronx. While Hunt’s Point Market makes $2 billion per year and is the world’s largest wholesale produce market, the community does not see most of this profit and residents of the Bronx are worse for it. The fumes from the trucks that make nearly 15,000 trips a day are linked to the 60 percent of South Bronx residents that reported asthma in 2010. But the community keeps fighting the expansion of the market.

Tanya Fields and her organization The BLK ProjeK seek:

…to address food justice, public & mental health issues as they specifically relate to underserved women of color through culturally relevant education, beautification of public spaces, urban gardening and community programming. By creating easily accessible resources and enriching the lives of women who are routinely overlooked and overburdened yet serve an important and critical role in the larger fabric of society. We will strengthen overall mental and public health, as well as elevate the collective self-esteem of the larger communities they live in.

Looking southwest at artificial lagoon at the west end of Clason Point Park. The background includes: Rikers Island, Long Island City tower, Empire State Building, and Hunts Point, Bronx. May 2008.  Photo taken by Jim Henderson.

Looking southwest at the artificial lagoon at the west end of Clason Point Park. The background includes: Rikers Island, Long Island City tower, Empire State Building, and Hunts Point, Bronx. May 2008. Photo taken by Jim Henderson.

Fields invites support in a number of ways. You can join the Hunts Point Farm Share, help with the urban farm, donate or volunteer. By believing in a solution for the Bronx that improves poor communities of color by making sure there is access to healthy and affordable food, advocates against practices that are not environmentally sustainable and fights to make clean air a right for people of all genders, races and class background, Fields provides an outlet for people in poor neighborhoods to form coalitions and cooperatives.

by Wren Longno

Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. Sade

     /  April 10, 2013

    I am happy that Ms. Fields started the Projek. There should be no reason why the crappy food served in the plentiful fast food restaurants, or poor produce at local supermarkets, should be the main food source for those who cannot afford Whole Foods on a consistent basis. The green markets do currently accept EBT, cash, or credit (you transfer it to a token of $5 increments), but they are often in neighborhoods far away from lower-income communities. Organizations like the Projek are needed to make sure we get great grub, beautiful gardens, and lovely green space too!

    Like

    Reply
  2. The video was taken from The Hunts Point Express, the community newspaper and website of Hunts Point and Longwood. You can read more about Tanya Fields and her effort to create a community garden in a city park here: http://brie.hunter.cuny.edu/hpe/2009/09/01/guerrilla-gardeners-invade-longwood-park/

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: