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Thaint Talks with Weiss Farms at the Market

By Thaint T

Image from Weiss Farm's facebook page

The business I profiled is called Weiss Farm. There were three guys standing there and, at first, Dakota and I were scared to go up to them and ask questions. At first, they invited us to ask them questions but I saw that there were other customers. At their stand, they had grapes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers, gourds, acorn squash, apples, there's a lot! You can get their products at their farm stand and also the Lexington Food Co-op.

They told me the challenges they faced were bugs and weeds.

The workers/farmers there were really friendly. A lady came up to them and the guy greeted them with a, "Hello, ma'am." The products they have were presented so you can see everything, like it's not hidden in a corner.

During asking them questions, the guy cracked jokes and it made me laugh. It felt comfortable and fun.

Thaint’s NESAWG Recap

By Thaint T

On November 10th through the 12th my group, which was MAP Growing Green, and I went to Hartford, CT for the annual NESAWG 2016 conference. It was a long 6 hour drive from Buffalo, NY to Hartford, CT but we made it.

When I finally arrived, I went to my first session, which was the “colored people caucus.” There I had a partner to talk to about why we’re here and what we would like to learn from this NESAWG conference. Her name was Robyn and she went to Hamilton College. She told me that she was here because she had had road blocks with what she is doing and wanted tips from other people here to help get her through the road blocks.

Another session I went to was part of the youth track, the very first one the following day, November 11th. There, I just learned about what other youth organizations do in their own communities. I learned that a lot of them were similar to MAP, the organization that I’m a part of. They also have a farm/garden themselves that helps feed the people around their community.

Another session I went to was a youth talk. It was mainly about what problems youth believe that they have around their community and how or why they can change it. There, I met a youth that became my friend right away, her name was Davina, her and her organization is located in Ithica, NY, just 2 hours away from Buffalo. The problem she believes she has is that adults may seem to listen to youth but they never actually do. Davina wants adults to listen to youth more often.

To me, youth talks like these are what helps youth and adults connect and talk more often. That is why this youth talk was my favorite session of the conference, I interacted more with other youth and became friends with a few people. Not only did I interact with youth but I also interacted with adults. We just didn’t talk about problems and what we do, we also talked about our favorite candy to our favorite culturally traditional dish.

I would like to share that there are communities out there that are struggling with food and the access to it. I would like to share to Buffalonians that there are other organizations that are similar to MAP and have similar mission outside of Buffalo. From attending this conference I realized that people from outside of Buffalo care about food. I made connections and friends with other organizations. So, if MAP ever needs a helping hand, they’re only one call or email away. They can now be added to our stakeholder list as someone who supports our cause, project or mission. MAP is already doing a beautiful job, but it takes each other to become beautiful.

Tips for youth dealing with incidents of bias & discrimination


What can YOU do?

Here are some tips for dealing with racism and bias in your community. Remember, these are suggestions and you should only take on what you are comfortable with. Your safety is most important.

#1 ABOVE ALL ELSE: ENSURE YOUR SAFETY

If you want to report a crime or fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.

If a situation becomes violent or if you think it might, call 911 immediately.

#2 BUILD A COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT

Who can you talk to? Who makes you feel safe?

Who are your allies? Who is supportive in your community? At school? At home? In Buffalo?

Think about those people in your life and look to them for support. Make a mental list and challenge yourself to consult your allies when you need them.

MAP Youth should ALWAYS feel comfortable talking with any of the MAP staff. Call, text, or email whomever you are most comfortable reaching out to. We are here for you.

#3 DOCUMENT & REPORT

If you experience an incident in public, either directed at you or someone else, the first thing you can do is look for another adult. Acknowledge that adult as a witness. Ask them for help.

If you are comfortable doing so, ask the perpetrator to stop. Say something like, "That is not appropriate, please stop it."

If you are comfortable doing so, position yourself between the perpetrator and the victim. Offer a distraction. Try talking about something else or introducing yourself as someone friendly.

Remember, if you fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.

Document what is going on. Who is around? What is happening? Where are you?

What can you do afterwards? Report the incident. Sharing what happened will help our allies understand what is happening in our community.

Your Buffalo City Councilmember is your ally. Contact your local representative with details regarding incidents in your district. An email only takes a few minutes to send. All councilmembers' contact info and a map showing who your rep is can be found here:

https://www.ci.buffalo.ny.us/home/leadership/commoncouncil

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has initiated a state-wide toll-free hotline where people can report incidents of bias and discrimination. New York upholds the responsibility to protect all who are here, whether native-born or immigrant, whether documented or not. The hotline strengthens New York State's efforts. Contacting the hotline will not affect your immigration status.

New Yorkers who have experienced bias or discrimination should call the toll-free
hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

The FBI investigates civil rights issues.

To file a color of law complaint, contact your local FBI office by telephone, in writing, or in person. The following information should be provided:
  • All identifying information for the victim(s);
  • As much identifying information as possible regarding the subject(s), including position, rank, and agency employed;
  • Date and time of incident;
  • Location of incident;
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witness(es);
  • A complete chronology of events; and
  • Any report numbers and charges with respect to the incident.
The Buffalo FBI office is located at:

One FBI Plaza (behind City Hall)
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 856-7800

You may also contact the United States Attorney’s Office in your district or send a written complaint to:
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Criminal Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, DC 20530

My 2016 NESAWG experience

By Sophia B

The journey to Hartford Connecticut for the NESAWG conference was a priceless experience. At the conference I got to: meet and mingle with people from all over the state and out, make friends, and learn a lot - not just food justice issues.

Most of the activities that I participated in were part of the youth tracks. In these sessions we got to know what other youth were doing and what can we teach each other. In one youth track session we talked about the election, what we thought about the results and what our next steps would be.

At the conference we were able to give our point of view as teens. We discussed the power we have, or could have, in our communities to make important decisions. I got a chance to present about MAP and the work that we do. For instance, I talked about our farm, the youth garden, our organizing group and the initiatives that we are working on. And while other youth presented we got to learn from them too, like they learned from us.

The last session I attended was grant writing it was an introduction to grants - how you get them and how to write a good proposal. This session was important to me because some of the plans I have in the future might need funding.

The conference theme this year’s was ‘Tackling wicked problems in the food system.’ We learned how you can learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than you do from just getting the answer itself. This is what I hope bring back to Buffalo. Wicked problems cannot be solved right away, you have to study them, take them apart and tackle them step by step.

 As you can see the NESAWG experience for me was a time of innovation but also having fun and thanks for making this wonderful experience possible for me.

National Fuel Meeting


By Maire E

It was around four in the afternoon when I walked into the downtown library for work, unaware of what we were going to do there. I met up with my fellow coworkers as we waited for Rebekah in the lobby. They reminded me that we were here for the National Fuel meeting. When Rebekah arrived we went in search of a place to sit, and have our own meeting - just Growing Green.

We found a place, settled down and immediately began a discussion on climate justice and what we thought of it. We broke down the term in order to grasp the full concept. This really allowed me to interpret my thoughts on the topic in a group setting. I always had a good idea of what the words meant to me, but to hear what others thought really gave me a different way to interpret the words by themselves and how they fit together.

Near the end of our work shift we were told that the National Fuel meeting was moved to later in the day and that we would not be able to go. However, we were able to go see and meet some of the protesters outside of the National Fuel Building. This showed how people are affected by climate change, and are fighting for justice. So, even though we were not able to go to the meeting, it was still great to meeting these people and see how dedicated they are to their cause, and standing up for what they believe in.

Pulling out eggplants



By Gabe C

One moment this fall I enjoyed the most was pulling out eggplants on Winter Street. Everyone in my group, but me, had a major problem with the dust that blew up from the newly exposed roots. When you pull the eggplants out of the ground wind blew dust from the roots into everyone's eyes. This gave me an odd sense of superiority where I felt extra productive. In the end, Levi washed his eyes and I took over pulling out eggplants for Dakota and Thaint.

By Levi B

It was a cold autumn morning on Saturday. Claire tasked me, Gabe, Dakota and Soliegh with pulling out the eggplants and collards greens. I didn't think about the random gusts of wind until IT happened.

As my coworker Gabe was pulling out a plant stormy winds swept through the areas and caused dirt from the roots to blow into my face. I brushed off all the soil, but my eyes began to burn. They stung so badly I felt as if someone was using a cheese grater on my eyes. 

I love sugar!



By Ingabire A

On Tuesday we had a guest speaker to tell us more about sugar. Her name was Kristen and she is a student at the University of Buffalo. She started out by asking us what we had eaten that day that did not contain sugar. Everybody went around saying what they had eaten that didn't have sugar in it. When my time came the first thing I said was: "I love sugar!" Everyone busted out laughing. I didn't answer the question asked, but I was being honest about how I feel about sugar.

When everyone finally finished, Kristen started telling us about sugar - the good effects that it has on people and the bad effects too. We had some difficulties with computers, so we had to gather together and look at the screen of a small laptop for her presentation.

Lastly, I really thought about my diet and am trying to decrease the sugar I eat.