Written by Ashley Black
Dyson School c/o 2014, Cornell University (Student Intern – Summer 2013)
Building a stronger community and tackling food justice is just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce) for this week’s featured Changemaker! Let me introduce our passionate PEAKS community to GreenStar Community Projects (aka GSCP) and its recently appointed Project Coordinator, Luke Jones.
GREENSTAR COMMUNITY PROJECTS
A little over a week ago, Luke and I had a great conversation about the past, present and future of GSCP while escaping the summer rain in the GreenStar Co-op’s rustic DeWitt Mall location, Oasis.
Luke, a Brooklyn-native Ithaca lover and recent Cornell graduate, spoke ardently about GreenStar Community Projects, its mission and how they plan to bring that mission to life in Greater Ithaca.
Luke describes GSCP – founded by GreenStar Co-op in 2006 – as an organization determined to not only meet community needs by lessening the disparities in access to fresh food in lower income neighborhoods, but by connecting Ithaca’s huge network of non-profits to promote collaboration and wider outreach. GSCP, guided by a mission to fulfill the needs of those facing inequality (which also happens to be one of Luke’s passions), is working to “solidify the local economic network for food” and better address the social justice aspect of “Food Justice” through community programming and network building. Since 2010, GreenStar Community Projects has teamed with the Village at Ithaca, Southside Community Center, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) and the Ithaca City School District to provide seasonal produce to youth and families in Ithaca’s public schools through Ithaca Community Harvest (ICH).
ALL ABOUT FOOD JUSTICE
GSCP is also planning their 3rd Annual Food Justice Summit (FJS) for September 21st, 2013 at Southside Community Center. The Summit, which traditionally begins with an (up to) 5 mile Walk-a-thon fundraiser and culminates in a Community Celebration, will be a FREE event jam-packed with family fun!
The Walk-a-thon not only gets you moving and fundraising for a great cause, but provides the opportunity to visit neighborhood and school gardens.
Plus, last year’s Community Block Party Celebration featured live music, organicBBQ (and Vegetarian) Fare, youth activities (like the Junior Iron Chef Competition), workshops, educational displays and guest speakers!! Learn more about FJS here.
To help make GreenStar Community Projects’ vision a reality, Luke and his colleagues need Champions to support their efforts. If you share GSCP’s passion for food justice and community-building, here are a few ways you can get involved:
- Join a Board! GSCP currently has three boards – The main Board, The Food Justice Summit Board, and The Networking Board (to help connect organizations) – they are currently open to new members! Luke promises the time commitment is minimal. Plus, you get a 17.5% discount at GreenStar Co-op. Contact email@example.com for details.
- Volunteer with the Food Justice Summit! September 21st, 2013 is the next Food Justice Summit and GSCP is looking for committed, passionate volunteers! Want to join? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE! Luke stressed the importance of spreading the word about GSCP’s work – “If people know and don’t give, it’s better than people just giving and not knowing what we’re about.” So, get on your screens, write a letter, and tell someone about this amazing community organization: GreenStar Community Projects!
- Donate! GSCP loves volunteers and promoters, but your tax-deductible donations are also most welcome! Visit GSCP’s Campaign page right here on PEAKS and make a contribution today: link.
Contact Luke Jones, GSCP’s Project Coordinator at email@example.com if you’re interested in getting involved. And be on the lookout for their new website!