Red Hook was our first farm and came about through a partnership of GCF with Added Value and NYCHA. The model developed at Red Hook is that of a large-scale, raised-bed farm serving NYCHA residents, powered by young adult residents in service and training for careers, with produce distributed to residents in exchange for compost scraps or volunteering at the farm, and serving as a platform for education and engagement around nutrition. The farm’s 2012 construction and our ongoing commitment to Red Hook was the first example of GCF rooting in a community for a significant amount of time. Over the course of 7 years we had 12 cohorts of GCF-Americorps members participate in service, totalling 240 trained members. With our young leaders in place we were able to accomplish the following:
- 33, 205 lbs. of food grown in Red Hook and distributed to residents of Red Hook,
- 6,003 lbs. of compost was collected directed from Red Hook residents (numbers need to be added)
- 4,413 farm stand visits
- 1,808 students engaged in farm based learning through our partnership with Added Value
- Educated 10,000 Red Hook residents in energy conservation
- Recruited 31 Red Hook young adults to join the corps and gain the Americorps Segal scholarship award.
The model at Red Hook Houses gained attention and recognition by not only the Red Hook residents, but by other NYCHA residents who sought out NYCHA to have the model exist in their communities. In 2016, we expanded our corps service efforts to build and establish farm sites with the behavior change components at 5 other NYCHA communities while serving at Red Hook Houses. Recognition of Red Hook Houses expanded to global corporations as well as other private and city investment.