In this Issue

CAMBA Food Pantry Gets Hydroponic Farm


Celebrate Summer with CAMBA & Cyclones


Students & Parents Rally for After-School


Vote for 97 Crooke in National Contest





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JUne 2013

hydroponicFood Pantry Grows Local with Hydroponic Farm
It may be hard to imagine now, but these tiny sprouts are the future dinner salads for clients at our Beyond Hunger Emergency Food Pantry. And the infant lettuces will grow tall and lush without the help of sunlight or soil, right inside the pantry's walls.
Since April, the Bushwick-based Boswyck Farms has taken over a piece of our Flatbush pantry to build a hydroponic farm---a soil-less growing system that will feed CAMBA clients and serve as a resource for the local community.
The farm is funded by the United Way of New York, through a Seed Grant for Urban Farming. The grant is designed to turn unused space into food-producing space and to expand community outreach services for nutrition education and wellness. The pantry's hydroponic farm will do both, building on existing community programs with an array of opportunities planned for the coming months.
"It's going to be a good learning experience, in and out of our pantry service," said Lucila Santana, CAMBA's Project Coordinator of the food pantry. "We'll connect with the community through volunteer opportunities, open houses for school kids, food demonstrations and even free classes on hydroponics."
Pantry clients will help with farm maintenance, and Santana says they're looking forward to getting involved... and to their new, very local salad ingredients. "Some clients are really hyped up about it," she said.
Pantry staff planted the farm's first seeds earlier this month (Romaine and Bibb lettuce to start), and they'll order more seeds soon, so a variety of veggies will be in the farm's future.
For now, see photos of the farm's construction (and first planting!) on our Facebook page, and stay tuned for news on classes, demonstrations and other opportunities to get involved.
cyclonesCelebrate Summer with CAMBA and the Cyclones
We're teaming up with the Brooklyn Cyclones this summer for two great events.
On Thursday, August 8, we'll be out at MCU Park in Coney Island for CAMBA's third annual Night at the Ballpark. Join us to cheer on the Cyclones from our field boxes or a catered luxury suite. Either way, your ticket will support our services to 45,000 New Yorkers each year. Learn more and buy your tickets here.
And coming up this Saturday, June 29, we'll be one of the benefiting organizations in the Cyclones' Take Your Base 5K, also in Coney Island (the race ends at home plate in MCU Park). There's still time to sign up to run or walk for CAMBA or support one of our team members in the race.  
afterschoolStudents and Parents Rally to Save After-School
Hopeful children rallied at Brooklyn schools this month in last-minute appeals to keep their after-school hours filled.
On June 12, in the Flatbush schoolyard of P.S. 139, children from the CAMBA Creative Kids after-school program carried handmade signs and chanted to save their program, which has been slated to close under the City's proposed FY 2013-2014 budget. They were joined by students and parents from the nearby CAMBA Kids Connection after-school program at P.S. 249, also on the chopping block.
"The after-school programs at P.S 139 and P.S 249 are essential in helping the families and children of our community learn and grow," said City Council Member Mathieu Eugene, who spoke at the rally.
P.S. 139's CAMBA Creative Kids program currently provides after-school homework help, educational and recreational activities and dinner to 215 elementary students. P.S. 249's CAMBA's Kids Connection after-school program serves 199 children.
Council Member Vincent J. Gentile spoke at a second rally at P.S. 170's CAMBA Kids Unite after-school program in Bay Ridge, scheduled to lose half of its current enrollment of 220 children.
"A lot of bad things can happen if we don't have after-school," said Zion, 7, who attends the P.S. 139 after-school program. "Parents may have to quit their jobs to pick up kids at 2:30."
Citywide, more than 31,000 children have been slated to to lose their spots in after-school and summer-break programs under the proposed cuts. This week, after months of advocacy campaigns and vocal pleas from students and parents, the City Council reached an agreement with Mayor Bloomberg to restore the proposed cuts.
crookeVote for 97 Crooke in National Magazine Contest
We are proud to announce that CAMBA Housing Ventures' 97 Crooke Avenue has been named a finalist for the Affordable Housing Finance 2013 Readers' Choice Award.
97 Crooke Avenue is a state-of-the-art affordable and supportive building in Flatbush that empowers people in need and helps them achieve independence. And now our worthy building needs your vote to go all the way and win the national award.
To vote, first subscribe to Affordable Housing Finance's free online magazine by June 30 (if you're already a subscriber, you're one step ahead). Then, vote for 97 Crooke during the voting period, between July 17 and August 16. We'll send a link for that soon.