Columbia Community Service Grantee, Harlem Grown, is a youth development organization based in Harlem, serving Title 1 Schools and low-income Harlem residents. For the month of April, Harlem Grown is partnering with ChefJJ of Fieldtrip Harlem for the HG Meals program, to provide hot, nutritious meals to youth, families, and community members living in shelters throughout Harlem who are in economic distress. The effort began with Harlem Grown’s quick pivot of programming and a call for help from Chef JJ of Fieldtrip Harlem and Adam Rosante of Good Eats. On their first meal delivery run, Harlem Grown was able to provide 165 hot meals and beverages to a nearby shelter in Harlem and ensured the children had access to a fresh and healthy nutritious meal.
Tony Hillery, Executive Director, Harlem Grown, says this is just "Harlem helping Harlem". Many of the children served by Harlem Grown live in shelters throughout Harlem and are dependent on SNAP benefits. The restrictions of COVID-19 mean many of the children are receiving their meals coming from the "Grab & Go" school foods program to supplement the SNAP benefits. With the temporary closure to Harlem Grown urban farms, families are unable to receive their standard free, fresh produce. The partnership with local community restaurants ensures the HG Meals programs can provide hot nutritious meals to youth, families, and community members facing economic distress and living in shelters throughout Harlem.