We haven’t posted much lately – somehow we got locked out of our website editor! But, we’re back and celebrating our recent move to our new office at Bok (formerly the Edward W. Bok Technical High School) at 1901 S. 9th Street in South Philadelphia! If you do not know about this incredible building and developer Lindsey Scannapieco’s wonderful vision for the space, please visit www.buildingbok.com! We are thrilled to share this space with a forward thinking community of innovators, businesses, entrepreneurs and creatives.
We will be holding an open house in the upcoming weeks (more to come). There are many advantages to our being here. Of course, one is fiscal – we are saving over 65% in rent costs when compared to our old space in Center City Philadelphia. Also, being here in one of Philadelphia’s most diverse communities offers scores of new opportunities for collaboration and programming. We are smack in the middle of a community that includes two of Philadelphia’s new Community Schools – Southwark Elementary/Middle School and South Philadelphia High School. We are already talking with several new partners as we explore ways to serve this vibrant and exciting community!
As many of you know, the last couple of years have been fiscally challenging for FNC. We were particularly hit hard with the loss of funding for our youth urban farming program after the state audit of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. Cuts in preventive services in order to address DHS internal issues meant a tremendous loss of funds for us. As we continue to recover from these cuts, I am pleased to announce that we were able to find ways to continue our programming with no reduction in services or outcomes! In fact, as we enter the new farming season, we are poised to produce even more fresh produce that will go directly to the communities we serve. Our decision last year to rename our farms was a reflection of our renewed commitment for our farms to have a positive and growing impact in the farm communities. A new partnership with Broad Street Ministry will mean that the scores of people who take advantage of their daily community meals will have fresh produce – grown right here in Philadelphia! We continue to applaud the wonderful work of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation in supporting farms such as ours. Our close partnership with Ty Gross and the East Poplar Playground means even more of our East Poplar neighbors will benefit from the farm, fresh produce, and learning opportunities.
Before the close of the last growing season, FNC was pleased to be selected by Aramark to be the beneficiary of an Aramark Building Community Day when over 175 Aramark volunteers came to the farm and adjacent East Poplar Playground as part of Aramark’s annual day of service. The day saw the creation of an outdoor collaboration and learning space, the addition of space dedicated to the use of community members to grow their own fresh produce, the revitalization of the East Poplar Playground and Recreation Center, and many other farm enhancements. This is evidence of FNC’s renewed commitment that our farms will be open to the communities we serve! The renaming of the farms to The Community Learning Farms of FNC further reflects our vision.
We still need your support! You can make a tax deductible gift by going to http://fncphilly.org/give/ and clicking on the DONATE button on the right side of the page.
Please feel free to stop by our office and visit! We would love to tell you more about our work!