Neighborhood Foods is a scattered site urban farming and grass-roots community development organization. It was founded by members of the Urban Tree Connection along with community leaders from Haddington, West Philadelphia. We take a bottom up approach to individual empowerment, starting with the ability to grow your own food and feed your own family.
Over the past 10 years, Urban Tree Connection has been greening vacant lots in a Haddington neighborhood (52nd to 56th, Vine to Girard) and turning them into parks that serve as sites for kids programs. In addition to being a safe place to play, these gardens teach kids about themselves and the world around them. Adults who lived around the farm also began to get involved and started to push for food production. At the same time, the kids were getting older and wanted more than after school programs. They began to grow food and sell food from their gardens to seniors in their neighborhood. We now operate after-school programs three days a week and run a six-week summer teen program.
Out of Urban Tree Connection’s experience in Haddington, Neighborhood Foods was started to confront the issue of food insecurity head on, because we believe that living a positive life starts with living a healthy life. Part of our definition of a healthy life is one in which people can support themselves and work with with others to better their environment. Similar to our members, the goal of Neighborhood Foods is to create an organization that can sustain itself while still striving to empower its community. In order to accomplish this, we are selling our produce at markets around the city and using those funds to subsidize the produce we sell at our neighborhood farm stand as well as employ community members to run Neighborhood Foods and provide services within the community.