Going Green: The Children's Aid Society Wins National Award for Innovative Youthmarket Program

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Student-Run Markets Honored for Bringing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to Underserved Communities in New York City


Ellen Lubell, (o) 212-949-4938, (c) 917-854-6864, ellenl@childrensaidsociety.org

Emily Crossan, (o) 917-286-1548, (c) 201-344-5742, emilyc@childrensaidsociety.org

NEW YORK, NY, May 28, 2010 – Wide swaths of low-income communities in New York City lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables, causing an array of health issues for neighborhood residents. The Children’s Aid Society recently received a national Boys & Girls Clubs of America Honor Award for Program Excellence for its Youthmarkets, operated in partnership with GrowNYC. These youth-run farm stands were created to address this acute lack of fruits and vegetables by bringing fresh, local and healthful produce directly into schools where students and families congregate. The Award was presented at the Boys & Girls Clubs 104th National Conference held recently in New York, N.Y. MetLife Foundation sponsors the annual awards program.

The Honor Award for Program Excellence in Health and Life Skills recognizes the program that helps young people develop the capacity to engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, help them set personal goals and live successfully as self-sufficient adults. The students who help organize The Children’s Aid Society Youthmarkets sell the produce, do cooking demonstrations and tastings and distribute recipes to families to take home, all in partnership with GrowNYC. The Youthmarkets happen in three Children’s Aid community schools in the Bronx and Washington Heights.

The New York City Department of Health provided student shoppers at the Youthmarkets with Health Bucks, vouchers used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets across the city, including The Children’s Aid Society Youthmarkets.

The Children’s Aid Society received a $3,500 cash award in recognition of its outstanding achievement.

left to right: Ellen Barker, Program Manager, Go!Healthy, The Children's Aid Society; April Hawkins, Director, Civic Affairs Program, MetLife Foundation; Stefania Patinella, Director, Food and Nutrition Programs, The Children's Aid Society

About The Children’s Aid Society

The Children’s Aid Society is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the children of New York City. Our mission is to provide comprehensive support for children in need, from birth to young adulthood, and for their families, to fill the gaps between what children have and what they need to thrive. Founded in 1853, it is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving New York’s neediest children. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers, health clinics and camps. The Children's Aid Society is a founding member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the vast majority of Children’s Aid sites are Boys & Girls Clubs. For additional information, please call 212-949-4938, email ellenl@childrensaidsociety.org, or visit www.childrensaidsociety.org.

About GrowNYC

GrowNYC improves New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. Programs include: Greenmarket, which runs 49 farmers markets throughout the city; Open Space Greening, which creates and rejuvenates community gardens and builds rainwater harvesting systems; Environmental Education, which offers projects in the areas of conservation, alternative energy and more in intermediate and high schools; the Office of Recycling Outreach and Education, which promotes recycling and waste prevention; Learn It, Grow It, Eat It, which offers teens hands-on nutrition and health programming; Youthmarkets, youth-operated urban farm stands; and the New Farmer Development, which helps immigrant farmers start their own farms in the region. Visit www.grownyc.org.


About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was established by MetLife in 1976 to carry on its longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants support education, health, civic and cultural programs throughout the United States. In youth development, the Foundation funds initiatives that promote mentoring and promote safe places and constructive activities for young people, particularly during out-of-school time. The Foundation has awarded more than $6 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America for youth development programs, including sponsorship of the Honor Awards program for 25 years. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.

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