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Kids build food carts to help bring fresh food to the East Side

Thomas O'Neil-White

Students from WNY YouthBuild cut the ribbon on a nine-month project through The Foundry for two mobile food carts. The carts will be used by the African Heritage Co-op and local urban farm Groundwork Market Garden.

The idea was to get students engaged in delivering fresh produce to so-called "food deserts" and to teach them design and carpentry skills.

“It’s helping give back to the community,” said YouthBuild student Cierra Hornsby. “It’s going to make a big impact.”

Hornsby was one of around 30 teenagers who participated in the project, funded by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus’ Healthy Eating Initiative.

African Heritage and Groundwork are both situated on Buffalo’s East Side, notorious for its lack of places to buy fresh produce. Groundwork co-owner Mayda Pozantides sees this as an opportunity to improve the neighborhood in which she works.

“I think it’s important to provide access to anybody who needs it,” she said. “There’s not a lot of options around for fresh organic food so it feels doubly important there.”

Groundwork will host a six-week urban agriculture and entrepreneurship summer program. Pozantides said more programs will be developed as Groundwork continues to grow.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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