AT&T employees came together yesterday in Trenton to help address the community’s need for access to fresh, healthy food. As part of a new project called Believe Trenton℠, AT&T volunteers will work with Capital City Farm and the Rivera Community Middle School to plant in urban gardens, give out fresh fruits and vegetables, and promote healthy eating habits.

External Anchor Partners collaborating on this initiative include state and local elected officials; Thomas Edison State University, John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy; D&R Greenway Land Trust; Capital City Farm; Trenton Area Soup Kitchen; Greater Trenton; Capital Area YMCA; Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County; New Jersey Food Council; and the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association.

“Believe Trenton is a perfect example of public and private entities coming together to make a difference,” said Greater Trenton CEO George Sowa. “This initiative provides an opportunity to increase community access to healthy eating choices, while also highlighting the tremendous impact that urban gardens can have in the city of Trenton for both current and prospective residents.”

AT&T volunteers gathered at Capital City Farm, 301 N. Clinton Ave., Trenton, New Jersey to help the urban garden with planting, pruning, raking and clean up.  Mayor Reed Gusciora kicked off the event, which included an announcement that AT&T is donating $105,000 to help address the need for access to healthy and fresh food in the community. In addition, the New Jersey AT&T Pioneers made a $2,500 AT&T Community Engagement Contribution to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and donated food items collected from AT&T employees.

“Having access to fresh, healthy food is a big quality of life issue,” said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora. “It’s uplifting to see AT&T making an investment in our community and helping to ensure that all Trentonians have access to fresh, healthy food they can afford. I want to thank the AT&T volunteers for contributing to these worthwhile service projects that benefit the lives of Trentonians.”

At the same time, AT&T volunteers were also at Rivera Community Middle School working with students, teachers and staff to paint murals, renew a community garden, and promote healthy eating habits.  AT&T teamed up with City Year, a non-profit education organization that helps students and schools succeed, for these and other beautification activities at the school.

“Access to healthy, affordable food is severely limited and, in some cases, completely unavailable in far too many of our communities,” said First Lady of New Jersey Tammy Murphy. “I applaud AT&T for their $105,000 donation to this initiative. With this collaboration, Trenton’s families will have better access to healthy foods grown within the community. I am proud to stand with Mayor Gusciora, AT&T, and the many volunteers who are dedicated to providing fresh, healthy food to our residents.”

“The contributions of our state’s corporate partners are crucial to improving the well-being of our residents and communities.  I thank AT&T for encouraging the planting of urban gardens to ensure all families have access to fresh produce, which can only serve to improve the health of all of our residents, especially the youngest among us,” said Tahesha Way, Esq., New Jersey’s Secretary of State.

“Thomas Edison State University has long served as an anchor institution to the City of Trenton and is proud to be a lead partner in the Believe Trenton℠ and Capital City Farm Initiative,” said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president. “Our John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy has been working with local stakeholders to conduct community engagement forums and to provide policy support and research on transformative designs for urban agriculture as an economic development catalyst for the city. The farm will not only bring home-grown produce to the local community but also will give youth access to a green space and education about urban agriculture.”

“Our employees are compassionate people with big hearts. They regularly give their time, talent, and personal financial resources to help their friends and neighbors. Through Believe Trenton, we’re able to build and expand the great work our team does every day here in Trenton and New Jersey,” said Charlene Brown, President, AT&T New Jersey.

Brown said the company is combining the commitment, compassion and enthusiasm of our employees in New Jersey with resources and support from the company to make a positive impact on the lives of the residents of Trenton. 

Other planned projects as part of Believe Trenton℠ include: a farm apprentice, 10 youth interns, farm supplies and equipment for Capital City Far; an environmental education and healthy living program for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County’; and support for the Capital Area YMCA programs to address the areas of food insecurity and the lack of access to healthy foods in the community.

AT&T Believes℠ initiatives have been launched in several cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Lebanon, Virginia, with more expected in 2019.  Learn more at www.attbelieves.com

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