Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz (right) talks with 95-year-old Queens resident, Clara LoSordo (left) about the project. LoSordo says she believes the hot sauce project is an example of the millennial generation finally getting back to the natural-food roots of her childhood, which LoSordo attributes as a being a big part of her longevity.The other component of the hot sauce has to do with the organizations that are involved in the growing process. Each organization had its own unique story of involvement to tell, but two in particular emphasized something equally as important to them as financial success: education. For example, 13 women from the Korean American Service Center, a center that promotes the education and assistance of women who are survivors of domestic violence, are using this opportunity to learn real life skills. It’s the hope of Inae Lee, a self sufficiency councilor with the program, that the farming and business education that comes through the hot sauce partnership will help these women beat a statistic Lee shared at the event: that 70 percent of all domestic violence survivors consider their possible diminished socioeconomic status or possible loss of financial stability when deciding whether or not to stay with their abuser. Lee believes giving women the tools to feel economically independent and confident in their skills is key to beating those numbers.
A member of Rockaway Youth Task Force speaks on behalf of her organization at Thursday’s Press Conference.