BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A brand new $2.4 million Farmhouse and Community Food Training Center is open on Buffalo's West Side.
The facility is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP), a group committed to making sure everyone in the community has access to affordable, nutritious food.
The facility is expected to be a hub for community residents to access food and agriculture-based education and resources, create new markets for local growers, increase healthy food access for thousands of residents and provide jobs and leadership training for future community youth leaders.
The Farmhouse and Community Food Training Center includes a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen that will be used for cooking classes, nutrition education and cooperative food prep training. It also adds 3,000 square feet of cold and dry storage to help MAP's Mobile Market store it's locally farmed fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season. The third floor includes two studio apartments which will be affordable for households with incomes at or below 90 percent of the area's median income.
The project was a Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) Priority Project and MAP received $1.3 million in state incentives to bring it to completion.
MAP also works to educate local young people about farming and sustainability through its "Growing Green" program. As part of the program, MAP operates an "urban farm" on 13 vacant lots. The farm is maintained by young people and features two greenhouses, urban chickens, a composting system and multiple aquaponics systems for raising fish and plants in a symbiotic system.
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