Metro Baptist Church's rooftop garden grows fresh produce to fight food insecurity in New York City

ByLindsay Tuchman WABC logo
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Church's rooftop garden grows fresh produce to fight food insecurity
Lindsay Tuchman is in Hell's Kitchen with details about Metro Baptist Church's rooftop garden project.

HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A church in Hell's Kitchen is continuing its mission to give back in a unique way, by helping to fight food insecurity in the city with its bustling rooftop farm.

Metro Baptist Church, located on West 40th Street and 9th Avenue, has a 4,000 square-foot rooftop garden that continues to grow fresh produce to be distributed to those in need through the Rauschenbush Metro Ministries Food Pantry.

The Hell's Kitchen Farm Project is going on its 16th year of existence.

"This is one of the ways we can address food insecurity and get healthy food to people who may not be able to afford it from typical grocery stores," said Metro Baptist Church Executive Director and Pastor Tiffany Triplett-Henkel.

The garden produces roughly 500 pounds of fresh produce annually, and it's given to around 300 families.

"It's a different kind of meditative experience than farming in a wide open space," said Rauschenbush Metro Ministries Food Pantry justice coordinator Chrisaleen Ciro.

Most of the produce won't be ready to be harvested until around June, but in the meantime, the church offers the opportunity for people to come visit and enjoy or to help garden every other Saturday.

"Things like cilantro, other kinds of herbs, bok choy, all of that grows really really well up here," Ciro said. "And that also allows us to be able to provide our clients, many of whom who are not necessarily English speaking to access their culturally preferred diets."

The food pantry does a weekly distribution as the garden grows each passing week.

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