Photo © Douglas Merriam
Providence Farm Collective Wins 2023 Edible Communities Sustainability Award
Orchard Park, NY – Providence Farm Collective is the recipient of the 2023 Sustainability Award, a recognition given by Edible Communities to a person or group for their sustainability efforts and resulting community impacts.
Each year, the publishers of Edible Communities, a network of over 75 hyper local food and drink publications in the United States and Canada, nominate an individual, business or organization within their local Edible community to receive the annual Sustainability Award. Nominations are vetted by Edible Communities and ranked based on scope of work, community impact and how the work relates to sustainability. Ultimately, the winner is chosen by the award recipient from the prior year.
This year, Edible Western NY & Erie Lakeshore nominated and StopWaste selected Providence Farm Collective as the recipient of this year’s Edible Communities Sustainability Award.
“It was a tough decision, but what tipped it for us is how unique the Providence Farm Collective is in its target audience and the intentionality of their approach to be responsive to the needs of people who are often marginalized and don’t have as strong of a voice in our society,” wrote Robin Plutchok of StopWaste, winner of the 2022 Sustainability Award. “Providence Farm Collective’s program is thoughtful, culturally relevant and empowering with a wide range of benefits: community and connection building, producing healthy food, job creation, income creation and environmental benefits.”
Providence Farm Collective is a non-profit grassroots organization established following a three-year pilot project, the Somali Bantu Community Farm (SBCF), which was launched in 2017 to address inequities in farmland and fresh food access. Hearing the parallel needs and challenges experienced by other refugee, immigrant, and Black communities, PFC was established in 2019 as a non-profit umbrella organization with a mission of cultivating farmer-led and community-rooted agriculture and food systems to actualize the rights of under-resourced peoples.
Upon the successful completion of a $2.3 million joint capital campaign with the Western New York Land Conservancy in 2022, Providence Farm Collective purchased its 37-acre home on Burton Road and is working with the Land Conservancy to protect it forever. Today, 282 farmers, members of nine diverse ethnic communities who live in Buffalo’s East and West Side neighborhoods, cultivate land at Providence Farm Collective, growing culturally relevant crops like African maize and roselle, connecting to their farming heritage, and providing fresh food and economic security for their families.
“Somali Bantu Community Farm founder Halima Muhina and I are honored to accept the Edible Communities Sustainability Award on behalf of Providence Farm Collective,” said Kristin Heltman-Weiss, the collective’s president and executive director. “In our values, mission and vision, we are committed to a holistic sustainability model that empowers and provides equitably for people, honors and cares for the health of the planet, embodies the purpose and values of the organization, and balances all of those with the need for financial viability.”
About Providence Farm Collective
Providence Farm Collective is a non-profit that believes in empowering Just and Equitable Access to Food and Farmland. It cultivates farmer-led and community-rooted agriculture and food systems to actualize the rights of under-resourced peoples. PFC has its roots in the Somali Bantu Community Farm, a three-year pilot project. The pilot explored the challenges and opportunities of addressing fresh food insecurity and farmland inequity. PFC supports under-resourced farmers in Western New York needing access to clean, rural farmland, farming and business education, technical assistance, access to markets and the opportunity to farm for income. For more information, visit www.providencefarmcollective.
About Edible Communities
Edible Communities is a media company dedicated to the sustainable food movement with a network of more than 80 locally owned and operated food magazines and websites throughout the United States and Canada. Each publication is dedicated to celebrating the abundance of local food, season by season. Edible Institute is an annual event hosted by Edible Communities, bringing together food enthusiasts, industry leaders and advocates to discuss and promote sustainable food practices. Learn more at EdibleCommunities.com.