Clif Bar & Company

 Anne Hamersky 3/20/15

Re: Urban farming in the Bronx: November 2014

Creative Storytelling for Clif Bar & Company’s “In Good Company” Social Media Channels

As program’s visual storyteller, I guided a large multi-regional team from twenty sustainably-minded companies to tell the story of its volunteer work at an urban farm in the Bronx.I worked collaboratively with team members and neighborhood residents to craft stories about personal and community transformation. I guided participants to use their smart phones to take photos, hashtag, and upload to project social media channels. My work with the program resulted in 95% more audience engagement, furthering the project mission to affect change at the intersection of corporate social responsibility, hands-on service learning, and food justice activism.

“The whole concept of environmental justice is new to me. To live in an area that’s been unduly burdened with power plants, waste dumps, no access to nature? How can the community flourish and be healthy? We need to spread the industrial outputs around for people’s sake and for the environment, too. It’s too much undue stress in one place.” –Chelsea, Clif Bar & Co

“I’m from the opposite end of the spectrum. I grew up on a 350 acre farm in rural Wisconsin and yes, I’ve been to Chicago, but it’s nowhere near as dense as the Bronx. I figure one of these apartment complexes, sitting on around one acre of land, has more people than all of LaCrosse. This food desert thing is unbelievable. I always thought there were tons of stores in New York, but I haven’t seen a supermarket in this neighborhood yet.” -Jason, Organic Valley

“Helping others literally changes your brain chemistry. You notice more of the good in the world — the kids, the smiles, the beauty. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do when I go back home — every town has people in need of a helping hand. I know I want to be part of The Good. It spreads out further than the borders of your town. I’m kind of surprised by how simple it is.” –Darren, King Arthur Flour

“I was raised here in the South Bronx, ever since I was eleven when I came to this country from Puerto Rico. In the 70s, a lot of buildings in this neighborhood were set on fire by landlords who thought they weren’t getting enough in rent. Some of them got caught, some not. Bronx Green-Up came in and started planting gardens in all these vacant lots, cleaning up the bricks and debris. I went to many of Ursula and Sara’s pruning classes at the NY Botanical Garden and now, I’ve worked in all two hundred something of the community farms in the Bronx.” –Carlos, South Bronx ­­­­­­Community Member

“When I first met Talib, I asked, ‘How do you like your garden?’ and he said, ‘It’s not really mine — you know it’s all about The We and The Us. The Community, that’s what keeps life going.’ I’m going to take that mindset back with me to Berkeley.” –Sarah, Amy’s Kitchen

 We were honored to work side by side all week with Sara, the unstoppable Community Horticulturist for Bronx Green-Up, our nonprofit partner. So much knowledge, so much heart, so much Swiss chard! – Sara, Bronx Green-Up

 “This is beyond everything we expected. It’s a brand new garden — uplifting the whole community. People stop outside on the sidewalk and see the changes. They ‘Oooo’ and ‘Ahhhh’ and we say ‘Come in and put your hands in the dirt!’ You folks? You can take away the inspiration. You can tell the story that you worked like heck, shoveling dirt in the rain in New York City. Us? We plan, we dream, and we thank you, thank you, thank you.”

-Bobby, Taqwa Community Farm