Dear Friends of UTC,
Chances are good that this week, you will eat healthy, nutritional meals. Chances are even better that, unless you are dieting, you will not feel the pangs of hunger, or go hungry this week, or for many weeks to come.
Thanks to your continued financial support, we made this statement true in the lives of many children and adults in West Philadelphia. 2011 proved to be a phenomenal year as our Neighborhood Foods Community Farm came alive yielding thousands of pounds of food for community children and their families. In fact, we fed more families through our farm and community famers’ market than ever before.
This year, we want to tell you more about the VeggieKids, a group of young teen entrepreneurs who have grown up in UTC’s garden programs in the Haddington section of West Philadelphia. Every day, these children survive poverty, street violence and hunger. Yet despite the stress of daily living, they appear at our gardens ready for our afterschool activities, ready to reclaim and create gardens from the abandoned lots in their neighborhood. After many years of working together, strong bonds have formed between our staff, the neighborhood youth, and their families. These bonds and friendships are powerful, transformational, and indestructible.
We’ve now hired several community teens to cultivate the Farm, deliver produce, and share our message of health through nutritional choices. We’re also fueling the local economy by generating income from farmers’ markets, filling hungry bellies with nutritious local food, and bringing the knowledge and confidence of a life beyond the projects to community youth.
UTC’s Neighborhood Foods Community Farm and Co-op, created by your support, is transforming a community’s long-held sense of despair into hope. Neighborhood Foods is creating food security, real jobs, and inspiring Philadelphia’s next generation of responsible and healthy citizens.
The youth are now back in school, the temperature is dropping, and the holiday season is just around the corner. At UTC, we are working double-time to ensure that community youth and their families, continue on a path of healthful food. Please help us continue our ground-breaking efforts with your financial support. Each and every dollar allows us to continue to provide safe places for children to learn, grow, eat and play.
Thank you for supporting the VeggieKids and their community. We wish you all the best for the holidays and continued health in the New Year.
Skip Wiener, Executive Director
P.S. The city of Philadelphia has a record of 40,000 vacant, blighted properties and abandoned lots. You and the UTC have the proven ability to help re-build our local communities and economies, one vacant lot, one garden, one child at a time.
United Way Donor Designation #12184
To send a check or money order via the U.S. Postal Service:
Please make the check out to: Urban Tree Connection
Mail to: Urban Tree Connection
5125 Woodbine Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131-2404
Urban Tree Connection and those we serve thank you for your generous donation!