Being a true "foodie" is about more than just sampling the city’s best restaurants and cooking healthfully at home. It’s equally important to understand where our food comes from, and the impact it has on the environment and community. So when I stumbled upon International Rescue Committee (IRC)’s New Roots program – I was curious. As it turns out, the program is doing good in more ways than one. Not only do they train and employ refugees from disaster destroyed and war torn countries, but that employment is by way of sustainable farming. Meaning that in 22 cities across the US, refugees are trained to farm produce in environmentally responsible ways, which they then sell locally to farmers markets and restaurants. The IRC also revitalizes low-income neighborhoods by transforming urban lots into gardens, and providing nutritional education. So essentially, they are:
- Giving refugees a way out of war torn countries by providing jobs and education
- Using and promoting sustainable farming techniques to protect the environment
- Improving underprivileged neighborhoods by creating green space and engaging the entire community
- Teaching people the power of food and nutrition and how to eat healthfully
WHAT?! This program is awesome.
Click through for more...and to learn how to get involved.
You know what else is awesome? I found out about IRC’s program during NYFW – when I was beckoned to the Empire Hotel by the promise of a free lunch by Chef David Burke. The famed chef behind some of NYC’s most esteemed restaurants, is also a spokesperson for New Roots, and hosted a temporary Pop-Up during Fashion Week. So, while I chowed down on an absurdly flavorful, locally sourced quinoa and kale salad - I read up on this whole venture. And you know what I concluded? It was a whole lot more than a free lunch.