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Grantee Blog 2020

Resilient Roots: Coming Together To Feed Our Community

Vietlead’s CSA program is a community-led initiative to help provide fresh food and vegetables to the local residents of Camden, while giving an opportunity for the youth of the community to take a proactive step in learning about the importance of food sovereignty. Fresh vegetables can be hard to come by for Camden residents, so these bags can give families an opportunity to be more proactive in the food they want to eat. Each week, students and volunteers from various walks of life come together and harvest fresh produce for our CSA bags.  Youth and Volunteers work together to harvest, clean, weigh, and finally bag the veggies to be delivered to residents who signed up for the CSA program. Many residents are receiving solidarity bags, aka bags that are partially or fully subsidized to support folks who are not able to pay for the full bag. Having this option ensures that folks have access to fresh produce despite economic barriers.

Having youth lead the way helps them feel more connected and involved in their community and provides an opportunity to connect with other people with similar goals. We have been harvesting and sharing an abundance of mustard greens, cabbages, collards, and amaranth. Every week we harvest extra shares of these cultural, nutrient dense foods and all youth and volunteers get to bring them home to their families as well – expanding the cycle of giving.

Additionally – our farm construction team went out to help our partners at St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society build new garden beds at two reclaimed lots turned into community gardens. This project supports local growers and strengthens community wellness, as neighbors and locals are able to access more green growing space. We are also working to bring on local out-of-school youth as farm apprentices who will be paid seasonally to support us in building out our network as a local food hub in Camden the next few years.

Please follow us on Instagram @resilientrootsfarm to see more of our work this season!

About the Grantee

Vietlead

VietLead is a grassroots organization that strives to improve health, increase sovereignty, and develop Vietnamese leadership in solidarity through intergenerational farming; youth leadership; health navigation; policy advocacy; and civic engagement. Our Food Sovereignty and community garden program was built from seeing how food is an important part of how refugees practice self-determination.