Farming To Improve Health, Increase Education and Promote Food Access Among Underserved Farmers, Students, and Adults Near Food Desert, Camden, NJ.

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2024: $15,011.00
Projected End Date: 04/30/2025
Grant Recipient: Tuba Farm Foundation
Region: Northeast
State: New Jersey
Project Leader:
Cyara Phillips
Tuba Farm Foundation
Muhammad Khan
Tuba Farm Foundation
Cyara Phillips
Tuba Farm Foundation


  • Agronomic: sunflower


  • Animal Production: manure management
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage, no-till
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: farmers' markets/farm stands
  • Soil Management: earthworms
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, community services, leadership development, local and regional food systems, quality of life, social psychological indicators

    Proposal summary:

    Tuba Farm has been reducing food insecurity and food waste in
    southern NJ by promoting sustainable no-till farming since 2021.
    Tuba is striving to become a leader among local community food
    security programs located within 20 miles of Camden NJ. Tuba
    hopes to advance its equity mission and measure the impact of its
    farming efforts by developing this health, education, and access
    program. Diet related diseases and stress are prevalent in
    America, especially among underserved communities and farmers;
    Tuba wants to measure if 2.5 hours of no-till farming per week
    encourages mental and physical health improvements among
    participants. Providing food and nutrition education encourages
    healthier dietary choices and behaviors, lowering risk of diet
    and stress related diseases. We’d like to confirm, “if you knew
    better, you would do better”. Further, teaching participants how
    to farm and grow, affordable food, for themselves and others,
    proactively builds an equitable local food system that includes
    new farmers from underserved communities. In alignment with our
    mission, this program looks to reduce food insecurity among
    underserved people, specifically BIPOC people, by improving
    productivity and increasing the amount of healthy food grown for
    consumption. By accomplishing food security and increased
    community engagement, we improve the quality of life for farmers,
    our families, participants, and the local farming community. In
    addition to 2 BIPOC farmers, Tuba is seeking 4 adults, including
    2 students, who are interested in learning to farm, while
    potentially improving their health and receiving increased access
    to healthy food.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objectives of this no-till farming initiative are to improve
    health outcomes, increase food/nutrition and farming education,
    and encourage access and consumption of healthy food grown by
    underserved farmers, our families, students, volunteers, and
    community members within 20 miles of, local food desert, Camden,
    NJ. This program will help build an equitable food system;
    increase healthy food production and access; train and encourage
    new farmers, encourage physically and mentally healthier
    communities, and increase the propensity for BIPOC communities to
    grow food sustainably, at a low-cost. Tackling health and food
    insecurity, head-on.

    This program looks to answer the following questions: Does
    farming/gardening as a moderate intensity exercise, for at least
    2.5 hours weekly, improve health outcomes? Does farming/gardening
    as a moderate intensity exercise, for at least 2.5 hours weekly,
    reduce stress? Does increasing food and nutrition knowledge
    result in healthier choices? Does increased farm training improve
    knowledge of low-cost, and sustainable agriculture methods? Does
    increased farm training/workshops increase gardening/farming
    self-confidence? Does growing your own food and increasing access
    encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables? Does utilizing
    Tuba Farm as a community gathering space, improve the number and
    quality of social interactions and civic engagements?

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.