- Staten Island
Feeding Family is a nonprofit organization that was formed to provide disaster relief to the victims hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. Feeding Family serves the poor, distressed and underprivileged with a focus on promoting the physical and emotional reconstruction of Staten Island communities in a sustainable and healthy manner. We apply a rigorous homeopathic, organic, and scientific method-based approach to sustainable urban community gardening and development. Since our founding in 2012, Feeding Family’s vision has been to develop community involvement that intelligently responds to a growing lack for immediate real time solutions during the rebuilding process and everyday impact left by Hurricane Sandy and to consistently deliver value and quality responses to the needs of the hurricane victims. The people of Feeding Family are a dynamic and diverse group of disaster relief, urban farmers, and Staten Island locals that are dedicated to community empowerment. We would like to partner with the universities in the surrounding area to join efforts in constructing and maintaining several projects that require innovative and new design, construction, and progressive problem solving tactics.
We are building 30 urban sustainable ecological and flood-proof community gardens and greenhouses to grow healthy food and medicinal plants on land that has been donated to us in Staten Island. We are implementing a sophisticated method of farming, hydroponics and permaculture. We are decontaminating the garden grounds with natural approaches and will have them completely contaminant-free within the year. We would like to engage a team of students to get involved with our projects and apply their studies to real-life situations.
We would like to fill you in on the work that we are currently doing:
Feeding Family also provides warehouse, storage space and support to multiple relief organizations including World Cares, Sandy Yellow Team, Occupy Sandy, Boots on the Ground and Guyon Rescue. We are a donation drop off and distribution center for clothing, construction, demolition supplies, furniture, and appliances. We are in the process of rebuilding and expanding this space to set up an additional area for caseworkers and other nonprofit groups to assist people with getting the resources and services needed. Our weekly average amount of volunteers is 1,000 people. We find it important to engage the community. When people take ownership of rebuilding their community they feel a sense of empowerment and support from each other. We outreach to schools, veterans, youth groups and local members to offer an opportunity to get involved and receive volunteer and academic credit as well as an opportunity to be proactive in the healing and beautification process.
Within our space we are opening a food pantry and kitchen to serve those that were hardest hit by the hurricane. Feeding Family collects, prepares, and serves 1,180 hot meals a day to Staten Island residents. While still providing hot meals through partnerships with other community organizations and faith-based institutions, we take a much longer approach to food services. We are also planning on implementing a kitchen incubator model to serve as an economic driver for small businesses throughout the 5 boroughs.
After Hurricane Sandy, residents and volunteers were exposed to raw sewage, black mold, hybrid molds, fiberglass, construction particles and asbestos, all of which cause chronic respiratory diseases and cancer. We provide health and nutrition support by offering people the natural medicines that they need to support their immune systems as well as cancer and respiratory disease preventatives. We are following up on growing and using medicinal plants that have been proven scientifically to be antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial to offer to the community. We are taking courses that will qualify us to grow medicinal rainforest plants in our greenhouses. We hope that we can soon apply the knowledge in order to address the growing health issues caused by natural disasters.
Feeding Family works hard to support each individual and family as fully as possible in their own rebuilding process, both through our own programs and referrals to outside resources. Our entire team believes firmly in our mission and in the opportunity this devastating disaster has provided to build a stronger and more resilient Staten Island community. Just as tree roots grow deeper after a storm, we are growing Staten Island's roots for a healthier and more empowered future. We look forward to collaborating with you.
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