Last week, I posted that the Massachusetts Avenue Farmhouse (MAP) looked as if it was ready for action. Little did I realize that the ribbon cutting was scheduled to be held a few days later. Well, that ribbon cutting was officially held this morning – the ceremony and press conference was jam packed with attendees hoping to finally get a firsthand glimpse of the $2.4 million project.
In coming years, the farmhouse and community food training center, located at 387 Massachusetts Avenue, will serve as a food sustainability mecca, which will address the problematic issues of food security, food desserts, ever increasing national obesity epidemic in young people and adults, and climate change. Today’s ribbon cutting marked an occasion where the entire community came together to make this project happen. What started off as a mere dream in 2014 has now become a full fledge operational farmhouse in the heart of the city’s West Side.
“Every community should have access to quality, fresh food and this partnership with MAP is part and parcel with New York State’s ongoing efforts to end food insecurity once and for all,” Governor Cuomo said. “This urban food hub in Buffalo will provide new markets for small farmers, greater access to affordable and nutritious food and job training and resources for the next generation of community leaders.”
MAP’s new agricultural center includes:
- State-of-the-art teaching kitchen is a centerpiece of the new Farmhouse and will be used for cooking classes, nutrition education and cooperative food prep training
- The addition of 3,000 square feet of cold and dry storage will afford MAP’s Mobile Market and Farm Manager a space to expand procurement and adequately store fresh local 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 new MAP Farmhouse is a game-changer for Buffalo’s West Side, and will help to continue the progress of this vibrant community,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The new Farmhouse & Community Food Training Center will help to expand offerings of fresh produce, provide jobs for young people, and educate the public. Food insecurity is one of the most important social justice issues of our time. New York is recognizing this by investing in the MAP Farmhouse, which will work to combat hunger in Buffalo and across Western New York.”
Project funding sources include:
- $2.4 million in funding from a diverse base of private and public donors, including more than $1.3 million in incentives from New York State
- $930,000 from Homes and Community Renewal
- A $385,000 Western New York Regional Economic Development Council grant
Other donors include the Junior League of Buffalo, Rich Family Foundation, Wegmans, Patrick P. Lee Foundation, James H. Cummings Foundation, NYS Assembly Member Sean Ryan, the City of Buffalo, Peter C. Cornell Trust, City Council Member David Rivera, Simple Gifts Fund, Children’s Foundation of Erie County, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, M&T Bank and many other organizations and individual donors.
Massachusetts Avenue Project Executive Director Diane Picard said, “This project would not be possible without the unwavering commitment and support we have received from our State, City and Private funders. Our new Farmhouse will allow us to expand the work MAP does in the City to build food equity and economic opportunities with those most affected by food insecurity. MAP’s farmhouse is the first of its kind in Western NY and we hope it can serve as a regional model towards building just and equitable food systems.”
Click here to see MAP’s upcoming food related classes and events.