Jersey City kids learn farming in Pittstown



Jersey City kids from Team Walker at the America’s Grow-a-Row farm in Pittstown, New Jersey, along with program and communications officers from funder Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Children from Jersey City ventured to the America’s Grow-a-Row (AGAR) farm in Pittstown Tuesday.  They learned how to harvest fresh produce and take it home to their families and communities.

Approximately two dozen children from Team Walker, a nonprofit organization that offers youth academic and athletic programs, as well as community outreach programs for families and seniors of Jersey City, got a hands-on experience on a farm experiencing fresh produce for the first time in their lives.  The tour included lessons on how different crops grow, and their nutritional value.

Zaniyah Fuentes picks fresh fruit.

“At America’s Grow-a-Row, in order to build a sustainable Culture of Health, we need to improve the access of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables to those individuals who are faced with food insecurity,” said Chip Paillex, founder and CEO, America’s Grow-a-Row. “In addition, we need to make healthy eating a priority, and that is done through our year-long curriculum, such as the Kids Farm Day program that took place today at our farm with the youth from Jersey City. All this has been made possible due to the generosity of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is partnering with America’s Grow-a-Row to build a Culture of Health in New Jersey Communities. The foundation works to achieve health equity and expand health opportunities through their investments into community programs.

In cities such as Jersey City, there is a shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables.  They are populated by low-income residents without vehicles. In fact, a report issued in 2010 by the Reinvestment Fund concluded that more than 924,000 New Jersey residents or more than 10% of the state’s population, lack adequate access to supermarkets offering fresh fruits and vegetables.