New York CSA Local Roots NYC was honored with the Entrepreneur Award. Photo by Local Roots NYC.

It’s hard to form a community without involving food, a fact that Mayor Bloomberg seemed to recognize in the 12th annual Neighborhood Achievement Awards. The awards honor organizations, people and businesses–especially small ones–that have enhanced New York’s neighborhoods and local economies. Of the sixteen recipients recognized, a third of them were food-related ventures.

Local Roots NYC (check out some of our previous coverage here) earned the Entrepreneur Award. The unconventional Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program earned the honor for its work in promoting New Yorkers’ connection to local food. Local Roots allows participants to choose from a variety of shares (fruit, vegetable, coffee, bread, juice, milk, eggs, cheese and meat), and also has a “Brooklyn Artisanal” share featuring local purveyors like Liddabit Sweets, Rick’s Picks, Ovenly, Nunu Chocolate, Slantshack  and Granola Lab. In addition, Local Roots organizes visits to New York-area farms for education and volunteering, produces dinners and hosts cooking clubs.

Local Roots NYC Visit to Rogowski Farm-2Local Roots NYC Visit to Rogowski Farms

Other culinary winners include the NYC Food Truck Association, which aims to reinvent NYC street food vending and organized an outreach effort post-Hurricane Sandy; the Bronx’s Il Forno Bakery, which donates 500 pounds of bread to City Harvest each week; healthy school meal-provider Red Rabbit and Brooklyn bar Bar Sepia, which has helped to reinvigorate nightlife and commerce in Prospect Heights. The heavy presence of local food organizations seems to reflect a general increased interest in the local food movement.

There’s more to a neighborhood than food though, as the awards also honored culture centers like Staten Island’s Snug Harbor and the Grand Central and Long Island City business improvement districts (BID’s) that support neighborhood property owners and businesses.