Angelic Organics Learning Center will be hosting a celebration of Rockford good food advocates tonight at Kryptonite, 308 W. State St., beginning at 7 p.m. This event will honor local leaders and organizations that have supported Angelic Organics Learning Center’s mission to build sustainable local food and farm systems. Honorees tonight will include Ron Clewer of Rockford Housing Authority, Ruth Fairchild of Zion Lutheran Church, and Yatte Moore along with Blackhawk Courts RHA residents.
The event will feature a hors d’oeuvres buffet with organic and sustainable ingredients with vegan options, live music from local folk musician and songwriter Kendra Swanson, and mingling. Tickets are $75 and benefit Angelic Organics Learning Center and their Roots & Wings program in Rockford.
Roots & Wings is a network of community-based organizations is committed to community and youth development through urban agriculture. Root & Wings grows vegetables using organic and sustainable techniques while also motivating, educating, and inspiring youth and adults to be leaders and role models in their communities. The program’s main growing site is located on Blackhawk Courts, a Rockford Housing Authority property. Zion Lutheran Church provides educational, nutritional, and job-readiness support to Blackhawk Courts residents through their Zion Outreach program.
“Roots & Wings Farm and Garden has made a positive impact in the neighborhood,” said honoree Yatte Moore. “Initially people were resistant because they didn’t understand the program. After the community learned more about the farm and garden they started coming out to participate in the various events and to support the work on the farm.”
Moore was raised in Elgin and was the first person to graduate high school in his family. He found a job, but it was hard to maintain because he didn’t have reliable transportation. While living at Blackhawk Courts he met Janis Forrest of Zion Outreach who offered him a job working the Roots & Wings Farm and Garden.
Yatte is now the Farm Manager for the Roots & Wings Farm & Garden. He’s been farming for three years and has learned how to properly grow organic vegetables, as well as the importance of healthy eating and living. Yatte has gained marketing, managerial and life skills that he uses on the farm and in other aspects of his life.
“I’ve become a positive role model for youth and senior citizens in my community,” said Moore. The youth look to me for guidance and the seniors respect me because I have inspired them to be a good example as well.”
Moore will be joined by Ron Clewer of Rockford Housing Authority and Ruth Fairchild of Zion Lutheran Church to receive their awards and talk about their work in supporting good food access, nutrition and more. Roots & Wings staff will also be on hand to sign-up guests for their community supported agriculture (CSA) shares. These CSA shares provide Rockford residents with fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers during summer months.
“I am extremely honored and grateful for this recognition,” said Fairchild. “I get to share ideas that motivate communities into action and we share the dream of safety, peace and prosperity.”
Tickets for the Good Food Advocate Celebration are still available online or at the door for $75 a person. Visit learngrowconnect.org to buy tickets, sign-up for Roots & Wings CSA shares, or learn more about Roots & Wings and Angelic Organics Learning Center.