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Transition Albany, Monthly Meeting Notes

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Hello Transition Albany:

Here are the notes from our meeting last night. Let me know if you're interested in anything in particular.

Participating: Dave Hochfelder, Ann Pfau, Mark Roberts, Kevin Johnson, Rebekah Rice, Frank Sullivan - facilitator, Sandy Steubing - scribe, Guest Speaker - Natasha Pernicka from Food Pantries for the Capital District

During introductions we share what green things we’ve been doing lately; mostly this had to do with gardening endeavors.  Frank shared his pics of a solar oven he built and used.  The County passed legislation to ban fracking waste to be used to salt the roads.  The City passed a resolution to restrict idling of vehicles to 5 minutes.

Natasha Pernicka from Food Pantries for the Capital District gave us an overview of their work.  They provide funding, deliver food, and are a general resource for the 53 food pantries in the Capital District.  There’s been a dramatic increase in need in the past few years.  Honest Weight and Capital District Community Gardens donate food  The pantries give out 3 days of food at a time.  Food Stamps will get a family through 3 weeks so many people are hungry at the end of the month.  Some pantries have gardens.  Natasha was especially keen on the idea of Food Forests, especially within the food desert areas of the city.  This is where anyone can go and pick the food that’s available.  Margie Rector of the Myers Middle School, Habitat of Humanity and the Independent Media Sanctuary are all interested in establishing a Food Forest.  

We also talked about container gardening of veges and herbs.  What Nurseries might donate materials.  Where they might be distributed after assembly.  Natasha’s organization is always looking for volunteers.  Therefore,  Dave, Frank,Ann and Natasha decided to meet sometime soon to see what specific things TA might do to help.

For further info, you can go to the Food Pantries for the Capital District website.  There also are two good films on hunger, A Place at the Table and The Line - both of which have been shown at FUUSA.

Rebekah Rice shared her BIG news of a $49,000 grant from Environmental Justice for edible landscaping.  Congrats Rebekah!  She has plans to use this money for the Missing Link, Freedom Sq., and Collard City Growers in Troy.  Rebekah is also looking to establish a ‘green Map’ for PR and educational dissemination.  What’s safe to eat and when is critical.

We finished our meeting by talking about growing the meeting attendance by reaching out to other like minded Albany organizations.  Next month this group will report back and Sandy will bring her laptop to lead a discussion on TA’s  ‘ask‘   for incoming pols at all levels - city, county and state.  We will also discuss our next steps for the Garden Exchange.

Rebekah said she’d take pics of container gardening finished projects.

Within the month - 

Dave, Ann, Natasha, and Frank will meet before our next TA meeting.

Tues., Aug. 27th at 7:15 at the County Court House.  Public hearing on the County polystyrene ban with take out food.  The industry will be there to say how expensive this will be for them so we need people to say we don’t want styrofoam with our food anymore.

Monday, Sep 2nd starting at noon, Solidarity Labor picnic at Cook Park in Colonie 

Wed. Sep 4th, 5:30 at the Albany Pump Station: ROW meets which is a grassroots waterfront organization.

Thursday, Sep 12th, Solidarity meets at the Social Justice Center on Central Ave.

Tuesday, Sep. 17th is our next TA meeting, 7PM at FUUSA.

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