This Urban Gardening initiative, called Wagner Resident, is fully funded by Unilever and the produce from the farm (over one ton per year) is provided free to the community, along with cooking classes focused on healthy eating led by Unilever chefs.
In New York City, the access to fresh and healthy food is limited and sometimes unattainable at an affordable price for low income communities. For example, East Harlem has fewer supermarkets and three times more fast food outlets per capita than the adjoining neighborhood of Upper East Side; the rate of obesity and diabetes is also three times higher.
To help combat this disparity, Unilever formed a partnership with Green City Force, who employs local unemployed residents aged 18-25 as AmeriCorps members to provide them with opportunities to work on the farm on an ongoing basis alongside Unilever volunteers.
Green City Force team members are engaged in both community service and in workforce training, and are uniquely qualified to contribute to the success of the farm. In turn, they become knowledgeable and passionate about healthy food, taking on leadership roles in educating their communities about healthy living and eating.