A food hub provides an oasis in a food desert

When you think of farm communities, the city of Waterbury is probably not the first that comes to mind. However, an effort to reduce food insecurity is bringing farmers to the Brass City.

A unique partnership between the state, the city, and Brass City Harvest is helping feed a neglected neighborhood and give farmers an economic boost. The Brass City Regional Food Hub is considered an oasis in Waterbury’s south end, an area that Mayor Neil O’Leary admitted has been neglected in recent years.

"This part of Waterbury is a food desert. Thirty-three percent of Waterbury is considered a food desert,” said Susan Pronovost, the executive director of the Brass City Regional Food Hub.

Not only does the hub give its neighbors better access to fresh fruits and veggies, it also provides a new venue for Connecticut farmers to sell their produce, according to Pronovost.

“It’s an absolute win-win. We never stop growing. So, you’re getting vegetables out of a greenhouse growing operation and brought into under-represented areas,” said Michael Wrobel, president of the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association.

Equipment costs can take a big bite out of the profits of small farm operations. So, farmers who can’t afford to buy the equipment required to sell to big box stores bring their produce to Brass City Harvest.

Read the complete article at www.nbcconnecticut.com

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