Right now the food system is broken. Globally, food production, processing, distribution, and waste, generate massive amounts of pollution, use too many natural resources, and take local people and wildlife for granted. A sustainable and equitable food system would restore the soil and water and wildlife, and can fight global warming by relying less on fossil fuels. Building this new food system and a greener planet is going to take a lot of work. People and businesses are adapting and changing, and our 12-month youth employment program helps young people in Buffalo discover the ways in which they can use their skills, talents and passions to join the good food revolution.
As part of MAP’s commitment to local food and local people, we are committed to building food system job opportunities in Buffalo. MAP Growing Green has provided green job training to over 400 inner city youth, ages 14-20, increasing their knowledge of food sources, how to grow, process and market organic food, as well as the impact food has on their health and that of their community. As part of their training, Growing Green youth plant and harvest on an urban farm, work in two aquaponics systems, producing vegetables, herbs, eggs and fish for neighbors, the elderly, local restaurants and other markets throughout the year. Youth are trained to lead other youth and adults in the community to be advocates for a more equitable and sustainable food system and healthier local communities.
With the critical training that Growing Green youth receive, we are helping prepare young people for careers in the future. Our youth are trained in organic and sustainable food production, vermiculture and composting, marketing and graphic design, small business development and management, and policy and organizing. Through this training, we hope to inspire and inform young people about food jobs that make a positive contribution to their communities and to the planet.
We aim to highlight the need and huge opportunity for young people to use their talents, skills and creativity to help build solutions for the food system. MAP believes that young people are Buffalo’s most important resource, and we aim to help youth find out about the kinds of jobs they can do to make a positive impact on their communities and on the future of our planet.