Corbin Hill Road Farm addresses the needs of low-income communities living in "food deserts" by providing access to fresh produce. The goal is to develop a sustainable approach that will not just feed these communities but also to help them develop into healthy, economic citizens.
What's Corbin Hill Road Farm?
New School faculty member, Dennis Derryck, founded Corbin Hill Road Farm (CHRF). CHRF now is run out of Harlem by a small staff comprised mostly of New School students and recent grads. I'm the General Manager and oversee the company's operations in New York City. Ultimately CHRF wishes to combat the increase in nutrition-related medical problems within food deserts by improving access to fresh produce.
What's CHRF's "Farm Share" concept?
The signature program of CHRF is the Farm Share, which gives Bronx and Harlem residents direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown by local farmers using sustainable farming methods. Each week "Shareholders" receive a share, a set number of fresh fruit and vegetable items. The Farm Share provides Shareholders with flexible membership terms; Shareholders can pay by cash, check, SNAP (food stamps), and credit cards. They can also change their subscription at any time (such as pausing deliveries and/or changing their share size). Ultimately our Shareholders will own more than a share of produce—the long-term goal is to have them become equity shareholders in the company.
How can students learn more about food access and social innovation?
Easy. Students can enroll in Dennis Derryck's course, Food Access and Social Innovation.
So you must be a food expert. What New York City restaurants do you recommend?
There's a place in Brooklyn, Bedstuy to be specific, with the best sandwich I've ever had. I've renamed the sandwich the "food coma sandwich" and it has all locally sourced ingredients.
What's your inspiration?
Ohlone Farm, a small farm at my elementary school in the middle of Silicon Valley; Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian; IDEO, a human-centered design firm; and Silicon Valley during the dot com boom/bust, my first exposure to the volatile world of start-ups.