Recirculating Farms Coalition and Dryades YMCA

Program Will Offer Fresh, Healthy Food and Garden Classes in Central City

(NEW ORLEANS, La.) — NEWS: The Dryades YMCA is partnering with the Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC), a sustainable farming and food justice advocacy organization. RFC will relocate its farm – Growing Local NOLA – to YMCA-owned land on Jackson Avenue, where it crosses Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in Central City, just a few steps from the Dryades Y building.

“We’ve wanted a community garden for some time so that our Central City youth and neighbors can strengthen their sense of community, be more active, and ultimately access affordable fresh produce. This an ideal partnership – RFC has the skills and experience, and we have the space and opportunity to further our work to address youth food insecurity,” said Alicia Oliver, Operations and Mission Advancement Director of the Dryades Y.

The new farm will provide fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and more for YMCA snacks and meals, classes and youth food pantry. RFC’s team will also collaborate with YMCA staff on building a community green space with classes in gardening, health-supportive cooking and holistic wellness.

“We are so excited to be working with the Dryades YMCA,” says Marianne Cufone, Executive Director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition. “This partnership will bring locally grown, healthy food to children through seniors in the YMCA programs and also offer a wide range of food and farm related classes and events to the Central City neighborhood and beyond.”

Work on the new growing spaces is already underway with a Dow Promise grant and a donation of raised garden beds by Folgers Coffee. The organizations have volunteer days planned to help with preparing the site and planting. Classes and events should begin early in the new year.

About the Dryades YMCA

Since 1905, the Dryades YMCA has been an integral part of New Orleans and the greater metropolitan area by providing thousands of youth and their families meaningful opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive. The Dryades Y is for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We are dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities in New Orleans and the Metro region.

About the Recirculating Farms Coalition

The New Orleans-based Recirculating Farms Coalition is a collaborative group of farmers, educators, non-profit organizations and others committed to building local sources of healthy, accessible food. Through research, training and advocacy, we work to support development of innovative, eco-efficient farms. These recirculating farms can create stable green jobs and supply sustainably-grown food – fruits, vegetables, herbs and humanely-raised seafood – in diverse communities. RFC also offers community programming including farming, exercise, and cooking classes; workshops; and a weekly garden basket. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Marianne Cufone

Alicia Oliver

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