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  • Brass City Harvest: Transforming a Neighborhood From a Food Desert to a Food Hub

    Wednesday, December 11, 10:45 am - 11:45 am
    403 B
    Panel Discussions
    Track 4: Community Engagement and Environmental Justice
    Waterbury’s South End Neighborhood is an area containing some of Connecticut’s highest poverty levels, high unemployment and a predominantly minority population. The neighborhood includes residential buildings, vacant lots and abandoned industrial buildings. It is a “food desert." Moreover, it is a neighborhood where access to fresh locally grown food for all practical purposes been denied. Brass City Harvest, Inc., a local non-profit organization committed to promoting urban agriculture and self-sufficient communities has partnered with the City of Waterbury to remediate and redevelop a small neighborhood brownfield site into Connecticut’s first urban fresh food aggregation, processing and distribution facility. A 6000 square foot building will house food washing, sterilization and packaging facilities to help Connecticut farmers process their produce in accordance with the latest governmental food standards. It will also include a commercial kitchen to allow local farmers to create new value-added farm products and will be leased to local food entrepreneurs such as start-up catering operations serving the community. The Food Hub will create vocational training and employment opportunities for neighborhood residents. It will facilitate fresh food product growth in the surrounding community through subscriptions and nutrition education through classes. The project highlights the successful collaboration of a community organization and a city in redeveloping a brownfield site.
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