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LISC secured a $1.36 million construction loan to help the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) build a community food hub designed to remedy food deserts, provide food-related job training to community members and youth, and improve nutrition throughout the city of Buffalo’s low income neighborhoods.
Located at 389 Massachusetts Avenue on Buffalo’s West Side, the Farmhouse will be the main hub for MAP's urban farming efforts, including the aquaponics system and greenhouses. The center will also provide employment, training and leadership opportunities for youth participating in MAP's Growing Green youth entrepreneurship program.
With a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen that includes teaching spaces for visitors and volunteers, MAP will provide residents with increased access to healthy, locally grown food and instruction on growing, preparing and selling it.
"Any sustainable Community Development strategy must include prioritizing food equity, through access to urban land for food production, education, enterprise development and workforce development," said Diane Picard, executive director of MAP. "LISC's crucial support for MAP's Farmhouse and Community Food Training Center is helping to build a community hub that will create jobs for hundreds of young people, new markets and enterprise resources for farmers and food entrepreneurs, greater healthy food access in Buffalo's neighborhoods and a place to gather, share and innovate around food."