Conceived as a solution to the surrounding food desert, the Fort Greene & Farragut Fresh Pantry began in October 2015 as a way to provide healthy and affordable food to local residents. Over the past three years, over 15,000 lbs of fresh produce has been distributed, with 200 to 500 families served each month.
The pantry is a coordinated effort of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, City Harvest, Forest City Ratner, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Tenants Associations at Farragut, Whitman and Ingersoll — and most importantly a dedicated team of volunteers.
From the start of the pantry, it was important to engage local residents to be part of the planning process, to help and eventually to lead the charge. Every month, a group of 25-30 regular volunteers of different ages and different strengths come together to make the pantry happen. They own it, taking the lead with setting up, troubleshooting, registering new residents, posting flyers, translation, filing paperwork, managing the lines and distributing food.
The Fort Greene & Farragut Fresh Pantry is held every every third Saturday of the month from 9:30AM – 11:00AM at Navy and Nassau streets. For more information, visit myrtleavenue.org.
Volunteers share why they help at the pantry:
“I do it for the workout, and to help the community.”
“I love volunteering and I love working with people.”
“We need a supermarket catered to the community.”
“The pantry brings people together, and it is habitual – something you can depend on”
“This provides a lot more fruit and veggies that we don’t have access to, and the local supermarkets are too expensive.”