Central Brooklyn Food Hub Feasibility Study

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Highlighting COVID-19’s Impact on Central Brooklyn’s Food Systems

Our grantee, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration), recently released its Central Brooklyn Food Hub Feasibility Study — highlighting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Brooklyn’s local food systems and outlining recommendations from the Central Brooklyn Food Hub to support current community needs and ongoing food justice efforts.

Restoration was contracted by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets in 2018 to complete the feasibility study as part of Gov. Cuomo’s Vital Brooklyn initiative. Since the study was submitted in 2019, the pandemic’s impact on New York City has reaffirmed truths already known to many. Working with an advisory committee on a year-long community engagement and research process where they discussed the potential benefits of a food hub, hosted community meetings, focus groups, and stakeholder interviews to source feedback to inform the recommendations.

Following this process, involving more than 100 partners, Restoration found the existing food and agricultural system does not adequately support the most vulnerable populations, specifically Black, Latinx, immigrant, and low-income communities. The recommendations in the study point to the urgent need to invest in community assets for a locally controlled food system. The advisory committee, which includes City Harvest, Brownville Community Culinary Center, and the Department of Agriculture and Markets, has continued to meet weekly to strategize the next phase for implementing the recommendations in the study. 

It’s a privilege to contribute $750,000 to support Restoration’s vision for a Central Brooklyn Food Hub as well as aid in the implementation of recommendations to assist central Brooklyn’s food systems, in partnership with stakeholders in Brownsville and Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

“Our Foundation looks forward to supporting Restoration’s vision for a Central Brooklyn Food Hub and aiding in the implementation of their recommendations. This grant promises to help address the pandemic’s severe impact in Brooklyn’s most vulnerable communities by increasing community access to nutritious food and creating more opportunity for health equity in Central Brooklyn,” said Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, Chief Executive Officer of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.

This grant will help lay the groundwork for the larger facility and develop a proof of concept to demonstrate Central Brooklyn’s readiness for a transformative food value chain.

Read the full report here.