Friends of the Lifers Youth Corp is Planting the Seeds for Success with its Urban Farming Initiative

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Urban Farming in Jersey City Offers Ex-Offenders and Community Residents with Fresh Food and New Hope

Friends of the Lifers Youth Corp. (FOLYC) is pleased to announce Friends of the Lifers Urban Farming Initiative, a new project aimed at developing a Social Enterprise that will help transform a neglected community and provide ex-offenders with transitional services, employment, and hope.

The aim of this initiative serves a dual purpose. First, creating a fully sustainable hydroponic farm and farmer’s market in impoverished areas of Jersey City will provide entry level employment and provide an environment that fosters real, grassroots entrepreneurs. Second, it creates an affordable source of locally grown food—year round— that will make eating healthy on a budget a realization for Jersey City residents who have suffered some of the highest rates of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

This initiative was started with the support and coordination of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, The Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Hudson County Department of Family Services, who ensured that funds were made available. In addition, the temporarily use of Jersey City Redevelopment’s lot in Ward F helped start the Earth Box Farm—the first project aimed at developing this concept and creating community awareness. Currently located on Kearny Avenue in Jersey City, NJ, it has produced a number of locally grown vegetables that are already being purchased by local supermarkets, restaurants, and residents. In spite of many obstacles, FOLYC has accomplished a lot with just a little “seed money” but there is still much more to be done and we encourage any and all help to develop this project.

If you are interested in supporting the FOLYC mission and this initiative, there are many ways you can help; all of your assistance will work to expand our existing Earth Box Farm and ultimately transition into a fully sustainable hydroponic greenhouse that can supply fresh, affordable produce to the region, within the next two years.

For more information, please visit http://www.friendsofthelifers.org or contact Friends of the Lifers at (201) 938-0637 or info(at)friendsofthelifers(dot)org.

About Friends of the Lifers Youth Corp. (FOLYC)
Friends of the Lifers Youth Corporation is a Hudson County-based non-profit with the self-assigned task of assisting the “Reentry Population” in obtaining the necessary skills and support to establish positive relationships with their families, employment opportunities and the social supports critical to instill a love of learning and community involvement.

Their focus is teaming with community organizations, social service agencies, and the Division of Criminal Justice to provide the widest array of support services and reintegration assistance.

Friends of the Lifer’s mission is to provide programs and services that promote self-sufficiency for citizens who were formerly incarcerated or have a criminal record; and to develop programs that assist in juvenile delinquency prevention, individual development, and community improvement.
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Annette Joyner-Jackson
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