MAP has always been essential but it wasn't until the pandemic began that we became defined by that term. We never really shut down, although some staff worked from home many remained at the farm. There were seedlings to grow, market sites to prepare for, and produce to be preserved (plus don't forget the chickens and bees to take care of!). We wanted to end the year by sharing the stories of our staffs perseverance and how MAP was able to make this year a success regardless of all the obstacles.
Hello! My name is Addison Arnold, I’m an AmeriCorps VISTA Member* at the Massachusetts Avenue Project. My position is Farmhouse Coordinator, I help things run smoothly at MAP, my position is focused on connecting with potential volunteers, updating our website, coordinating (future) events at our Farmhouse and more!
I’m originally from Buffalo, NY and started my VISTA term in late August, which is a busy time of year at MAP with the Urban Farm and our Summer Growing Green Program in full swing. Being a VISTA at MAP is my first experience working at a Food Justice organization. Already, serving here has deepened my understanding of Food Apartheid, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic, but it’s also been a learning experience as to why MAP’s work was so important. Over these past few months I’ve learned how our Mobile Market has made an impact by bringing fresh produce to Buffalo neighborhoods that need it the most. I also learned how important it was to invest in Youth education and empowerment. In late summer I had the opportunity to talk with some of our MAP Youth and help them create a video highlighting what they do. Their enthusiasm was contagious and they were eager to welcome me to the team. I’m happy to have a position where I can serve others and learn more about food access. I’m excited to keep learning and be a part of Buffalo’s West Side Community.
*AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a national service program, designed to alleviate poverty.