New York's poor get urban farm in bid to fight obesity

New York unveiled a giant vegetable garden Wednesday in the Brooklyn borough's largest public housing development, in a bid to fight a growing obesity epidemic among the poor.

The one-acre (4,000-square-meter) plot at Red Hook Houses "will provide residents with access to a healthy source of produce, while also providing young people with a pathway to education and employment," Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs said in a statement.

Red Hook Urban Farm will employ local teens to grow the food, some of which will be distributed to families in need, while others will be sold to raise funds for the plot, which will also serve as an education and training center.

The initiative is among a handful of measures launched by New York City Hall to fight obesity.

More than half of New York adults are either overweight (34 percent) or obese (22 percent).

Starting in kindergarten, one out of every five children is obese, according to Mayor 's office.

Obesity is especially prevalent among America's poor, who frequently live in neighborhoods without quality or fresh fruit and vegetable vendors.

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© 2013 AFP

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