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Pocono Organics Farm Breaks Ground

Rodale Institute

Third Generation Takes Farm Back to its Roots with Vision of Sustainability

2018.07.27-PoconoOrganicGroundbreaking

Sometimes the best way to create a brighter future is to go back to your roots. That’s the vision for Pocono Organics as its farmland, once a thriving spinach farm in the 1940s, is now poised to be one of the first and largest public-facing regenerative organic fruit and vegetable operations in North America.

The 50-acre organic farm is the vision of Ashley Walsh, a third-generation business leader in the Mattioli family who learned first-hand from her grandfather and Pocono Raceway founder, Dr. Joe Mattioli, that a big vision could create progress and progress could create change.

“What started out as a lifestyle and health choice for my family and I became a larger mission when I thought about how we could utilize our land to grow organic food to help others, create jobs in our community, and ultimately become an example of what a fully sustainable regenerative organic farm could be,” said Walsh, president of Pocono Organics.

Pocono Organics is designed to be self-sustainable in order to reduce its environmental footprint. Constructed to LEED standards, the farm will draw its power from the 3MW 25-acre solar farm that also powers Pocono Raceway. Organic crops, such as fruits, grains, herbs, vegetables and flowers will grow in both outdoor fields and in nearly 40,000-square-feet of greenhouses. Water for these crops will be reclaimed rainwater that will be collected and filtered through a living, vegetative roof atop the “State-of-the-Art Barn,” a nearly 30,000-square-foot processing and storage building attached to the greenhouses. Pocono Organics will also install its own septic and well water systems.

“We are committed to Regenerative Organic Agriculture and are launching innovative programs to create a closed-loop growing system,” Walsh continued. “For example, our Farm-to-Track program will supply our organic crops to Pocono Raceway for events and in turn, the track will supply us with compostable waste for our regenerative soil program needs. We couldn’t do this without partners like Rodale Institute. They bring us decades of experience and leadership that will accelerate our ability to serve our communities and help us become an incubator for organic research as well as a destination for agritourism.”

Read the full story.

Māori Public Health Org Wants Healthier Food Policies at Sports Clubs

RNZ
By Eden More

Lance Norman, Hapai Te Hauora Photo: SUPPLIED/Hāpai Te Hauora

Lance Norman, Hapai Te Hauora Photo: SUPPLIED/Hāpai Te Hauora

New Zealand’s largest Māori public health organisation is backing new research from the University of Otago to take bold action against the obesity crisis.

The research says two-thirds of food sold at rugby and netball games is considered unhealthy, undermining the positive impact of physical activity.

The research shows that sugary beverages, chocolate, potato crisps and fried food are the most commonly available at sporting venues.

Hāpai te Hauora chief executive officer, Lance Norman, said they’ve worked with community groups for a number of years on this kaupapa or issue.

Last year Hāpai partnered with Aotearoa Maori netball to go ‘fizz free’ to encourage no fizzy drinks which is now standard for their future tournaments across the country.

“Our focus has always been on community-led initiatives because in our experience these provide the greatest engagement, and the most sustainable change.

“There’s no point just riding in and telling communities they’re doing things wrong and then putting the burden of change on them alone. There has to be financial and educational support behind these policies,” Mr Norman said.

They’re calling on minister for sport and recreation Grant Robertson and the minster of health Dr David Clark to help sports clubs to implement healthier nutrition policies.

View the full story here.

 

Leftover Food From Falcons Games Feeds Hungry Folks in Metro Atlanta

 

Mitchell Northam
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

2017.12.05-NewsFeed-Falcons Leftover Food-IMAGE

In a partnership with Second Helpings Atlanta, the AMB Group has donated 13,250 pounds of leftover food from games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to the hungry. Photo Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

With more than 190 suites in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, there’s a lot of really good food being made during football and soccer games to feed those fans.

But what happens to the grub that isn’t eaten? Is it just thrown away?

Nope. That food is repackaged and donated to those in need of a satisfying meal.

Arthur Blank’s AMB Group, which manages the stadium, has been partnering with Second Helpings Atlanta to create a food rescue program that saves unused high-quality food from those suites. The food is repackaged and delivered to the local community.

The first pick-up of the program happened on Aug. 27, and since then 10 more pick-ups have occurred, which has added up to 13,250 pounds of donated food. That total breaks down to 11,042 meals.

The meals delivered consist of prepared salads, boxed lunches and bakery treats.

Through Second Helpings Atlanta, meals are donated to six partner agencies: Veterans Empowerment Organization, Urban Recipe, Loaves & Fishes, the Salvation Army, True Worship, and City of Refuge. One week’s donation from the stadium to a Veterans Empowerment Organization provided 10 meals for more than 100 veterans.

Meals are also delivered to Atlanta Mission, Atlanta City Baptist Mission, Atlanta Dream Center, Our House, Hope House, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Gateway Center and St. Francis Table.

Read the full story here.

 

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