The BLK ProjeK seeks to address food justice and economic development by harnessing the local, good food movement and creating small business and career opportunities for underserved women and youth of color. Through culturally relevant education, beautification of public spaces, urban gardening and community programming we create easily accessible resources and enrich the lives of women who are routinely overlooked and overburdened yet serve an important and critical role in the larger fabric of society.We wil strengthen overall mental and public health, create viable pathways out of poverty, support local growers thereby elevating the collective self esteem of the larger communities we live in.
The BLK Projek was created in 2009 when Bronx activist and mother, Tanya Fields wanted to take a more proactive approach in her quest for social justice and inclusive economic development. Having a child suffering from food allergies, experiencing increased weight gain, lacking access to quality, affordable food, a significant amount of undeveloped lots and her communities close proximity to the Hunts Point Food Distribution center, she recognized that the Bronx could have a foothold in creating an alternative, more inclusive food system and harness that power as an economic development tool.
We initially started with a free Mommy and Me class that included a support group, juicing and nutritious treats. From the conversations that resulted in those sessions we realized that one of the largest barriers between health, food and well being was economic development, the second one was education. It is our contention that a food movement that seeks to include low-income people (as it should) must encapsulate a long term economic development strategy. Without it, then we summarily exclude those most impacted by a broken food system.
As we developed our programming we realized that we needed a vertically integrated approach that would encapsulate both food justice and economic development. We created two programming tiers: Holistic Hood and Healthy Hoods. Holistic Hood includes programming that creates safe spaces for residents to build community, encourages civic engagement and fosters positive educational experiences. Holistic Hood includes our Bronx Grub meal series, community meetings, wellness and holiday events. Healthy Hoods includes our economic development initiatives such as the Libertad Urban Farm project and our South Bronx Mobile Market.