ENSURING A HEALTHY FUTURE
BCAGlobal promotes diversity and cultural awareness in the culinary, food service and hospitality industries. We know the importance of leveling the playing field with qualified professionals as diverse as the people they serve. Thanks to its supporters, BCAGlobal has sustained recognition as the organization that the culinary and hospitality industries turn to for qualified professionals of color. BCAGlobal creates the opportunity to advance the growth of diversity at both the grassroots and institutional levels, which is why BCAGlobal strives to empower career-minded individuals, but also expose industry leaders to the issues that those entering the field face. Our work is crucial to the balanced growth of the industries we serve.
We enhance students’ and young professionals’ formal training with the appropriate soft skills necessary to succeed in their future, creating socioeconomic empowerment for themselves, their families, and the communities that support them. Our methodology of bridging the gap between career providers and career seekers embedded with the themes of cultural immersion, food sustainability, and healthy living. Our goal is to guide the future generation of culinary, food service, and hospitality leaders to embrace these ideologies.
Accessing healthy food is a challenge for many Americans—particularly those living in low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, and rural areas. According to a 2009 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), access to healthy food is associated with a lower risk for obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases.
Researchers also found that residents who live near supermarkets or in areas where food markets selling fresh produce (supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, etc.) outnumber food stores that generally do not (such as corner stores) have lower rates of diet-related diseases than their counterparts in neighborhoods lacking food access. The USDA also found that 23.5 million people lack access to a supermarket within a mile of their home.
Growing food locally through backyard community gardens and larger-scale urban agriculture while also improving transportation to grocery stores and farmers’ markets significantly lower occurrences of heart disease and diabetes for people of color.
Sustainable agriculture focuses on production that renews resources. The program is about more than environmental awareness. It is also about the farming community. Urban sprawl has inflated land prices and small farmers, unable to deal with rising taxes, diminished markets for traditionally grown crops, and supply and equipment costs, are losing their farms.
By promoting healthy sustainable agricultural techniques and by introducing students and young professionals ages 17-24 to farming practices with a focus on organic methods, such as crop rotation, green manure, compost, and biological pest control, aspiring culinary professionals will experience firsthand the methods of organic farming as well as promote environmentally conscious sustainable practices.
This unique Urban Sustainable Agriculture program will attract participants throughout the Tri-state New York area, as well as many other states. The program will provide both the small business and technical skills needed to develop and manage a profitable, environmentally sound and community-based small farm or agricultural business.
At community vegetable gardens and regional Tri-state area farms, young culinary professionals will work with fellow participants to plant, cultivate, and harvest a variety of produce. They will learn to utilize a variety of tools and equipment, including tractors and tillers. Field trips, farm tours, and internships will enhance the learning experience.
Participants will use their education to build sustainable farms, incorporate food safety, and security into their culinary practices, and seek employment at established sustainable operations. Improving access to healthy food is a critical component of an agenda to build an equitable and sustainable food system. It is time for a nationwide focus to ensure that healthy food choices are available to all, building on these local efforts and innovations.