AJ Invites Community to Help Make the Food Desert Bloom

The community is invited to help the food desert bloom at Congregation Adath Jeshurun on Saturday, September 5, at 8:45 p.m.

Ten years ago, Adath Jeshurun helped musicians flooded out of their homes and clubs by Hurricane Katrina. The congregation provided them with a weekend of gigs to supplement their income and give them a sense of normalcy among the tumult.

That’s when AJ began its pre-Selichot jam tradition. This time, it’s about making a food desert bloom.

Many of us in the Jewish community are blessed with the availability of quality fresh foods whether we get them from Paul’s, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or even Kroger. The West End of Louisville is not so flush with opportunities to acquire fresh foods. Further, those Kentucky farmers who participate in farmers’ markets also tend toward the east side of the city.

This year AJ will introduce its Selichot service with a presentation of New Roots, an organization that, through the leadership of Karyn Moskowitz, has worked toward bringing the fresh produce of Kentucky farmers to the West End on a bi-weekly basis so access to healthy comestibles can be shared more equitably.

It’s quite simple: Most of us are blessed to be of middle income or higher. For us, a share or grocery bag of fresh produce costs $25. Shares purchased through this benefit will help subsidize shares for folks who can’t afford that price.

Each Fresh Stop also features a local chef who demonstrates cooking with the vegetables available that week and a flyer with recipe ideas.

AJ’s musical guest will be Keyvoko, also known as Mechie, an emerging artist carrying the sound of Soul, R&B, and hip hop to the next destination in time. Mechie, is a graduate of DuPont Manual/Youth Performing Arts School, and attended University of Louisville where he founded the first Performing Arts Organization, THETA BETA in 2006.
Speakers will include Moskowitz, founder and director of New Roots; a spoken word presentation by poet and assistant director Amber Burns; Uber Farm Liaison Mary Montgomery whose life was changed by the organization; Pastor Shirley Burke whose church, Coke Memorial United Methodist, hosts the Smoketown Neighborhood Fresh Stop, and one of the many chefs who help people learn how to make tasty recipes from the veggies and fruits of the week.

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