Category Archives: News

Capital City Farm: Breaking Ground for Trenton

By Josh Tobia & Andrew Nebbia

Capital City Farm in Trenton. Photos by Jared Kofsky/The Streetlight.

There are three supermarkets serving approximately 84,000 Trenton residents, making it difficult to access nutritious, low cost food within city limits.

On the other hand, Trenton has more than 75 bodegas that sell primarily unhealthy meals and a limited supply of fresh produce at a high cost.

This makes it increasingly difficult for city residents to maintain a well-balanced diet.

A study conducted by Rutgers University in 2010 determined that nearly half of children ages 3-18 growing up in Trenton are either overweight or obese, nearly twice the childhood obesity rate in the nation.

Rutgers attributed these statistics to the consumption of too few vegetables and too many high-energy foods.

Capital City Farm, a project of the D&R Greenway Land Trust at 301 North Clinton Avenue in Coalport, works to address this increasingly problematic reality in ways that are sustainable.

Both a profitable business and a model for urban agriculture, the farm is a beneficial addition to the community. Urban farms, like Capital City Farm, grow fresh produce and supply it to local corner stores.

After years of being a food desert, Detroit has used urban agriculture to address rather similar concerns.

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative transformed unused land into gardens for fresh produce, which expanded businesses, provided jobs, and helped circulate healthy foods across
the city.

Capital City Farm is following a similar trajectory. Kate Mittnach envisioned a farm that would create “a place of beauty that grows food for people that need it.”

It has done exactly that. John S. Watson Jr., Vice President of the D&R Greenway Land Trust, sees the farm as a “green oasis where fresh produce and flowers are grown.”

Watson explained that approximately 30 percent of the greens that they produce are donated to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK).

According to Watson, the other 70 percent of the food grown on the farm is sold to the Greenwood Avenue Farmers Market and Capital City Farmers Market in Mill Hill Park, and they are actively working to find more places to sell their product.

The farm’s website advertises that plots of land on the property will be available for local citizens to rent out and use for personal gardens

Their mission, however, is to serve and thus, the farm has set up canvases in neighborhoods around the city to learn what residents want grown and supplied.

In addition to serving the local community, Watson explained that one of their goals is to “create a sustainable and replicable agricultural model that can be created in other cities around the state and the nation.”


Capital City Farm
301 North Clinton Avenue, Trenton, NJ
(609) 924-4646

Trenton Free Public Library: Bridging the Digital Divide

By Noah Hasko

The Trenton Free Public Library. Photos by Jared Kofsky/The Streetlight.

The digital divide continues to adversely impact neighborhoods throughout the city of Trenton. A number of organizations are working to address this growing problem and the Trenton Free Public Library (TFPL) is at the forefront of the movement.

The library provides respite to individuals experiencing homelessness in the daytime and access to amenities that they need. Richard Jutkiewicz, the Community Outreach Librarian at the library attested to their ongoing efforts to support city residents.

Jutkiewicz has seen the impacts of the digital divide on individuals pursuing employment opportunities. Many find it difficult to access online applications and other resources for jobs while others enter the field with little understanding of and expertise with technology, making it difficult for them to maintain and grow in their positions.

Jutkiewicz explained this reality as he has seen it: “It has been eyeopening for me to see there are families where the head of household is out of work, and are applying for a job to a company or an organization that only accepts a digital application. They don’t have an email account, or had one but are not sure how to access it.”

With the ongoing efforts of those at local organizations in partnership with public resources such as those at The TFPL, efforts to address the digital divide are far-reaching.

Although the Briggs, Cadwalader, East Trenton, and Skelton Branch Libraries have been closed since 2010, the main branch of the TFPL is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00A.M to 8:00 P.M and Friday and Saturday from 9:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M. The TFPL is free for all to use with the acquisition of a library card and is located at 120 Academy Street. To contact the library, go online at www.trentonlib.org or call (609) 392-7188.


Managing Editor’s Note: The library is often closed during days with extremely high temperatures. Check with the library’s social media platforms if possible before visiting.

Local Summer Camp Offers Education and Entertainment

By Jasmine Green & Némy Thomas

Many parents rely heavily on school hours and after-school activities as a time when their children have somewhere to be safe and cared for. The problem is that most schools run for only nine months a year, leaving many children with working parents with nowhere to go for over eight hours during the remaining three months.

This leaves parents struggling to work and to find adequate and appropriate care for their children. This is where programs such as UrbanPromise Trenton come into play. In addition to running an afterschool program, the organization hosts a summer camp.

The UrbanPromise Summer Camp offers a welcoming and nurturing environment for over 150 children from all over Trenton at several locations. In the West Trenton location, the program takes place for six weeks and the location in East Trenton is offered for eight weeks beginning the week after the fourth of July. Michael Lovaglio, Academic Director of UrbanPromise Trenton, explained that UrbanPromise requires applications for many of its programs and with the limited funding that the organization has, they struggle to accommodate all applicants but try their best to support the greatest number possible. There is also a wait list available to those who do not make it.

UrbanPromise offers fun in the sun but unlike many other camps, it combines these activities with educational enrichment. According to Lovaglio, the camp builds on students’ academic skill sets and knowledge and preserves learning so that students do not experience the dreaded “summer learning loss.”

UrbanPromise not only provides a space for younger children to grow, but they also offer employment opportunities for teenagers in which they can acquire valuable leadership and collaboration skills. Teens can serve as “Street Leaders” in the program and receive a small stipend. UrbanPromise also provides $1,000 to each particpant when they go off to college. The program has a 100 percent high school graduation rate and it teams up with local organization, Mercer Street Friends, to provide nutritious breakfasts and lunches.