urban farming and youth leadership

Growing food in community is a collective and personal entry point to many systemic issues including: health and nutrition, job training, environmental sustainability, and the creation of social capital. The local cultivation and distribution of fresh, healthy, and affordable food raises the awareness about quality and access something sorely lacking in low-income communities. This new program at the Merck Family Fund will support programs in low-income urban areas in the Northeast that are harnessing the power of young people to create urban farms and local markets.

Specifically, the Fund welcomes proposals that:

  • Provide high quality leadership development and employment for youth.
  • Support highly productive urban farming projects and increase local access to fresh food.
  • Engage residents in food access and food security issues in the community.

Priority will be given to projects that combine all aspects above and that reside in the six New England states, New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, PA.