‘Growing Communities’ initiative unveiled

ROCHESTER — An initiative aimed at further revitalizing the Marketview Heights neighborhood was unveiled earlier this month.

Growing Communities will provide access to healthy food, youth development, nutrition and financial education programs for residents in Marketview Heights, city and other officials announced June 6. The initiative is a partnership between the city of Rochester, Foodlink, Pathstone, the Marketview Heights Association and Citizens Bank.

James Gaspo, president of New York’s Citizens Bank offices, presented a $121,500 check to support Growing Communities’ programs at Marketview Lodge on June 6.

The initiative also will include "Curbside Market" to offer fresh produce and cooking demos in a mobile van at locations around the city as well as a grant competition to transform corner stores into full-line food stores.

Pamela Reese-Smith, a community project administrator for Pathstone, said the Marketview Heights residents have demonstrated their commitment to improving the area when they came to her with the idea to beautify the neighborhood by converting vacant lots into community gardens.

"One of the key pieces of success is (involving) the people who live there," she said.

Martin Pedraza, who lives on Scio Street, agreed.

"This is excellent," he said. "It can get more neighbors involved and it’s going to be something good for the neighborhood."

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