Wegmans has pledged $75,000 to the planned Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) Farmhouse Community Food Training & Resource Center.
The farmhouse, at MAP’s urban farm at 389 Massachusetts Ave., will provide food and agriculture-based education, resources and volunteer opportunities to city residents, schools, community gardeners and organizations. It will include a new indoor and outdoor training space, teaching kitchen, resource library, improved cold storage, and tool storage and office space.
“MAP has been doing great work for years, and we’re confident that the new farmhouse will serve as teaching tool for not just the neighborhood, but the entire region,” Wegmans Consumer Affairs Manager Michele Mehaffy said in a statement.
The new farmhouse will replace an existing structure that is more modest in size and in disrepair.
MAP has raised more than half of the estimated $1 million it will need for the project from government, foundation, corporate and individual sources. They have included the Junior League of Buffalo, Patrick P. Lee Foundation, James H. Cummings Foundation, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, the City of Buffalo, M&T Bank, the Peter C. Cornell Trust, City Council Member David Rivera, Simple Gifts Fund and the Children’s Foundation of Erie County
Since 2003, MAP has provided jobs and training to more than 500 low-income youth and food nutrition-based training to more than 9,000 residents, school children and policymakers. Along with its partners, MAP helped establish the Buffalo-Erie County Food Policy Council, Urban Agricultural Zoning and other policy initiatives in support of Western New York’s local food system.
Since 2007, the nonprofit has increased healthy food access to more than 4,800 households through sales and donations of more than 25,000 pounds of affordable, local, organic produce.
Since 2008, 95 percent of high school seniors enrolled in its Growing Green Program graduated and went on to college.