By Lauren Nutall | Published October 25, 2023
On Monday, Oct. 30, Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ) will be hosting its annual gala to celebrate the organization’s 10th anniversary as it continues to make strides to combat food insecurity in impoverished New York City neighborhoods. The event will take place at the Lighthouse at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers in New York City.
This year’s gala will honor two outstanding individuals who have made an impact through their work with the program: Randy Stern, who is a Teens for Food Justice champion, and Alyssa Gardner-Vazquez, an alumna of the program.
In 2022, the TFFJ Annual Gala garnered $1 million in donations, and many prominent guests were in attendance, including New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams. The event also had a live musical performance by the Steve Miller Band.
Like last year, several distinguished guests are again expected to appear, including celebrity chef Melba Wilson. The gala will also feature a performance by musical star and Tony Award nominee Ariana DeBose, most notable for her role in Steven Spielberg’s rendition of West Side Story and the Broadway show Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Founded by CEO Katherine Soll, the nonprofit organization has broken barriers because of its innovative methods to make food accessible. According to its website, TFFJ “fights food insecurity and diet-related disease through school-based, youth-led hydroponic farming, providing local, sustainably-grown produce to food desert communities and building health equity for all New Yorkers and beyond.”
TFFJ is active across six school campuses in New York City and Denver, where the program operates high-capacity hydroponic farms. Through these farms, young people can use STEM to develop sustainable practices for their communities while building healthy relationships with food. Now, students successfully grow roughly 10,000 pounds of hydroponic produce per school annually.
For more information about the Teens for Food Justice mission, visit its website at https://teensforfoodjustice.org/.
Find the original piece on Black Enterprise.