Urban farming group Harlem Grown partners with Toys for Tots

Local News

HARLEM, Manhattan — Hundreds of Harlem children will be the lucky recipients of toys collected during the annual U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots Holiday Drive on Friday night, hosted by former New York Jets player Quincy Enunwa.

Harlem Grown — a nonprofit organization that teaches urban farming and sustainability to young kids — is the group the toys will go to.

The organization has 12 urban farms in Harlem, with chickens roaming on some of them.

 Executive director Nicole Engel said the group has a tight bond with the residents.

“We call ourselves a farm-ily, meaning that our families are really part of our larger community,” Engel said.

The group grows fresh, nourishing food on site and distributes it to families in need who live in the neighborhood, but they recognize that just growing and distributing food will not solve the lack of access in the community.

“It is also to educate people about the purpose of healthy food,” Engel said. “What that looks like, how to cook it so it tastes good and you want to eat it, to kind of change the cycle of poverty that’s existing in this community.”

Enunwa, the former wide receiver, will be collecting the toys on Friday night from anyone who wants to donate at the Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment venue in Rutherford, New Jersey.

He’s been involved with the organization for the last few years and he talked about the toy drive on PIX11 Sports Nation.

“Each kid that’s involved with Harlem Grown will get an opportunity to get an unwrapped free gift,” Enunwa said. “If you see what they’re doing out there, they have community plots allowing kids to grow crops, really give great mentorships, so I think it’s just a great cause.”

The organization primarily targets those most in need starting with shelters they serve, and even though toys aren’t a human necessity like food is, the gifts will give the children another thing to smile about this holiday season.

If you’re interested in donating a toy in person on Friday night, bring an unwrapped gift to the Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment in Rutherford, New Jersey starting at 6:30 p.m. You’ll be able to meet Quincy Enunwa and take a photo with him.

If you’re unable to make it, you can also make a donation to Harlem Grown through their website here.

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