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.
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