Friday, October 3, 2014

Massachusetts Avenue Project Invites Public to 'Be the Carrot'

$1 Million Capital Project on Buffalo’s West Side -- Fundraising has already secured $588,888

The Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) will expand its existing community imprint with the construction of The MAP Farmhouse & Community Food Resource Center adjacent to its urban farm on Massachusetts Avenue between Brayton Street and Shields Avenue.  On Tuesday, October 7th, agency staff and supporters will be on site to announce this innovative partnership and invite the public to "Be the Carrot" for MAP at the 389 Massachusetts Avenue farm at 10AM on Buffalo’s West Side.

At the event, everyone will have an opportunity to “Be the Carrot” by donating to MAP's capital campaign and posing for a fun picture with agency staff and board members, project funders, elected officials and youth benefactors.  As an incentive to contribute, the first 20 people to “Be the Carrot” on October 7th will receive a special edition “#Iamthecarrot” t-shirt.  The next 30 “Carrots” will receive a jar of MAP's own Growing Green Works Super Duper Salsa.  There will be refreshments served, donated by Sweetness 7 on Grant Street, and all contributions will support the construction of the Farmhouse.

Lead by MAP Executive Director Diane Picard, the Farmhouse project was given lift by an initial investment of $300,000 from the Junior League of Buffalo and the Buffalo News’ 2014 Decorators’ Show House competitive grant process. To ensure the receipt of these funds, MAP's goal is to have the remainder of these funds committed to the project by year end.  Well on its way to meeting this milestone, MAP secured $150,000 from the Patrick Lee Foundation, as well as $100,000 through State Assemblymember Sean Ryan and $10,000 through Buffalo Common Councilmember David Rivera.

The 2,700 square foot, environmentally “green” Farmhouse will offer multi-use indoor and outdoor spaces, a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, a resource library, farm equipment storage and space to distribute locally-grown food to the surrounding community. The MAP Farmhouse will be the first of its kind in the country. These offerings are of particular importance in an area with high rates of childhood poverty and nutritional gaps.  Project partners include the University at Buffalo’s Food Lab and Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo, among others.

MAP’s Farmhouse will adjoin the agency’s current 13 lots, covering over an acre of reclaimed vacant lots in a formerly blighted residential neighborhood. One of MAP’s flagship programs, Growing Green, employs nearly 50 Buffalo teens each year who grow, harvest and distribute thousands of pounds of organic produce each year while learning how to make healthy food more local and available for all.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Rebekah Williams, MAP's Youth Education Director at or call 716-882-5327 ext. 6
MAP Website:

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