What is GSCP?

GSCP is collaboratively building a community food system that nourishes everyone. 

We do this by networking the communities of Tompkins County, aligning leaders in the food system to end local hunger, and empowering youth to grow their own food.

GSCP relies on the involvement, support, and generosity of our communities. Donate today!

Learn More

GSCP facilitates quarterly, free Local Food Network sessions that span race, class, geography, and sector. Outcomes lead to good health for ourselves, our communities, and our earth.

Over 23 Network sessions, we have facilitated the networking of over 170 local, food-related organizations and more than 800 individual participants. Each session has involved sharing a delicious meal during a structured discussion addressing the most pressing needs and gaps in our food system.

To learn more or get involved with our next networking session, contact

The Childhood Nutrition Collaborative (CNC) brings together groups and individuals from different sectors of the food system to foster the community support and political will required to build a food system that nourishes all children (pre-birth to 24) in Tompkins County.

On any given day, a network of individuals and organizations go into feeding a child: family and friends, the child’s school, local grocery stores providing discounted food, local food pantries, non-profits seeking to end hunger, university networks, government food aid, among others. In 2016, GreenStar Community Projects established the CNC to align these cross-sector parties under a shared work plan to end child hunger in Tompkins County.

To participate or learn more about who’s involved, contact

GSCP runs the wheelchair accessible Esty Street Garden. At the Garden, we offer free events and youth programming to empower youth with skills to grow their own food and advocate for their nutritional needs.

  • Esty Street Garden provides opportunities for youth who have experienced hunger to grow, prepare, eat, and take home nourishing food in a fun, nurturing space alongside adult mentors. We focus our programming on school breaks and summer vacation when school food is not available.
  • The Garden provides fresh produce to the community through #FoodisFree curbside events, as a Neighborhood Food Hub, and through produce donations to Loaves & Fishes, our food pantry partner within walking distance.
  • In the summer of 2018, GSCP launched our first full season of youth programming. Through a Seed-to-Supper curriculum, a garden coordinator taught 30 students to grow their own food and supervised peer-led nutrition and cooking classes.

To volunteer at Esty Street Garden or learn more about our Summer 2019 youth programming, contact

  • GSCP organized and is a member of the Food Policy Council for Tompkins County.
  • GSCP joins and publicizes partner initiatives (eg. Food Bank’s advocacy campaigns; Poor People’s Campaign)
  • GSCP runs Hot Potato Press, an advocacy platform that highlights overlooked stories and voices from our food system. On Hot Potato Press, join a an ongoing conversation about building an inclusive community food system.
  • GSCP leads the CNC to maintain the food layer of the Community Platform for Tompkins County, where reliable, updated information from peer-reviewed sources can be accessed to promote childhood nutrition in Tompkins County. Both quantitative government and nonprofit statistics can be sourced alongside qualitative stories that bring faces to the numbers on the Community Platform.
  • GSCP is strategically positioned at the heart of the cooperative movement. We work directly with community centers, schools, universities, government agencies to build our case in the city of Ithaca and across the county.

Share your story, garden or cook with youth, and/or advocate for your community food system! Contact to get involved or sign up to volunteer here.

GreenStar Superworkers can get work credit for volunteering with GSCP. For details and a full list of volunteering opportunities with GSCP, see here.

Sign up to stay informed!


Collaborative Outcomes

  • The Collaborative Nutrition Collaborative has grown to include, among others, Tompkins County Health Department, Tompkins County Youth Services, Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University, GreenStar Coop, Youth Farm Project.
  • CNC backed Cornell Cooperative Extension and Youth Farm Project’s application for the Tompkins County Farm-to-School Project, a two-year grant received in December to increase regionally grown produce served in school lunches, and to spotlight food education.
  • In 2018, the CNC assisted the Ithaca County School District (ICSD) Child Nutrition Program’s application for a governmental provision which resulted in the implementation of free meals for all students in Beverly J Martin Elementary and Enfield Elementary Schools. ICSD produces these meals in collaboration with other CNC participants (Coalition for Healthy School Food and Youth Farm Project).
  • GSCP—in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension, CFCU Community Credit Union, and Loaves & Fishes Community Kitchen—operates the large downtown Esty Street Garden, an urban youth food education platform and wheelchair accessible food pantry garden. The urban gardening initiative teaches underserved youth the skills to grow and prep their own food.
  • In the summer of 2018, through Esty Street Youth Garden program, 30 teens (many low-income and/or youth of color) grew, harvested, prepped and brought home hundreds of pounds of fresh garden produce, and provided what they couldn’t use to the Loaves & Fishes Community Kitchen and in curbside #FoodIsFree events.
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United Way of Tompkins County
Community Foundation of Tompkins County
Park Foundation