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Construction of West Side healthy food hub underway

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Ground was broken Wednesday on the Massachusetts Avenue Project's new Farmhouse on Buffalo's West Side. The $2 million Farmhouse at Massachusetts near West Utica Street will include training space, a teaching kitchen, resource library and improved cold storage. MAP Board Chair Patricia Watson says one goal is to make the Farmhouse the center of the community.

"We hope that our model is so successful. What we want to be able to do is replicate it elsewhere. We think we can train, not just locally but nationally, and become a kind of center for youth empowerment and feeding people sustainable healthy food," said Watson.

The Farmhouse will house MAP's Growing Green program which employs and trains about 50 youth annually in urban agriculture and food justice issues. Last year alone, MAP sold over 30,000 pounds of affordable local organic produce.

Watson says MAP's mission includes improving food security.  

"In a lot of places in this community, the only way people can get food is perhaps at a corner store that carries primarily lottery tickets, cigarettes and beer. What we're trying to do is get healthy food into all the corners of the community where there is not necessarily a supermarket or a co-op to shop at," Watson said. 

State taxpayers are picking up just over half of the cost of the project.

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