Nuestras Raices looking to bring healhty options to Holyoke residents

A conference was held at Holyoke Community College to discuss healthy food for Holyoke residents

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Organizations in western Massachusetts are working together to bring food justice to urban areas in western Massachusetts.

Saturday morning residents from around western Massachusetts met at Holyoke Community College for a conference on food inequality and building a sustainable food system.

The conference was organized by Nuestras Raices, an organization that aims to help people in western Massachusetts’ urban areas such as Holyoke to have more healthful options.

Neftali Duran, the project director, told 22News “In a city of 40,000 people we have two grocery stores think about that. That means we need to take growing our own food into our own hands. If we have no grocery stores that means we need to make sure we’re growing our own food.

Nuestras Raices makes growing food possible for residents in Holyoke by providing community gardens and a community farm.

Nuestras Raices said anyone in the community can come and grow at the community farm. They hope to get more like this one throughout the community. Residents who want to grow on the farm rent their plot, some have been growing for 25 years since the program began.

Julian Hartmann, the conference organizer, told 22News, “A lot of people don’t have access to a car and they can’t get to the super market and they can’t get the fresh food that they want. They rely on bodegas which have a lot of canned processed foods that is not necessarily fresh.”

At the conference they also discussed ways to get healthier food options for children in the city schools.

Julian told 22News Springfield has taken many steps forward in bringing healthier options to kids but there’s still work to be done in Holyoke.

Soon Nuestras Raices will have a truck that will drive around the city and allow residents to buy their produce right from the truck.