Foodlink staff, volunteers and gardeners are assessing the damage done this past weekend to the Lexington Avenue Urban Farm, Foodlink’s community garden in northwest Rochester.
Between Friday night and Saturday morning (Oct. 13-14), vandals apparently broke in and vandalized the 1.3-acre garden that provides food for many refugee families in the neighborhood, as well as some of Foodlink’s programs. Sections of the fence were damaged, sheds were broken into and some gardening equipment was stolen, including a weed wacker. The exterior walls of the hoop house were slashed, and several fruit trees were damaged. Foodlink has estimated the cost of the damage at $1,000, however it’s too early to tell just how many of the trees won’t survive.
HOW TO HELP: Donate to the Lexington Avenue Urban Farm
(On Foodlink’s online donation page, you can designate your gift directly to the Lexington Avenue Urban Farm.)
“While we’re discouraged about this weekend’s vandalism at the Lexington Avenue Urban Farm, we still remain very committed to supporting urban agriculture in this community,” said Mitch Gruber, Chief Programs Officer at Foodlink. “This farm will yield more than 5,000 pounds of food for dozens of low-income, refugee families by the end of the growing season. This incident will not deter us from our mission of improving food access for vulnerable populations and building healthier communities throughout Rochester.”
The incident got a significant amount of media attention, which has led to several inquiries from community members about how they can support the farm, and help Foodlink make the necessary repairs. Foodlink is also exploring new security measures, such as cameras, to deter any future incidents. All monetary donations can be made through our online donation page by selecting “Lexington Avenue Urban Farm” in the designation menu.
For those interested in volunteering or if any businesses are interested in donating fruit trees, you can reach out directly to Nathaniel Mich at email@example.com.
MORE PHOTOS: Visit the farm’s Facebook page