Ignite Awards 2024 Honoree: Allison DeHonney

Meet Allison

Allison’s nominator met her at a Women’s Business Center workshop ten years ago, in 2014, and obviously, Allison made quite an impression.

Her nominator stated, “I was drawn to her passion and conviction regarding the numerous disparities in our community – especially access to limited healthcare and fresh foods. Allison has taken her passion and turned it into an agricultural entry port for under-served individuals and families on the East Side of Buffalo, NY.  It’s one thing to grow your food but Allison’s vision was to do more, and that is exactly what she did by using her social entrepreneurial spirit to fight food deserts and their effects through her growing, distributing, and selling nutritious food. As the only Black female farmer in the Buffalo area, Allison established Urban Fruits and Veggies (UFV). Using only the best seeds, soil, and organic fertilizers, UFV looks for the same standards and holds the same expectations when partnering with local farmers. UFV currently delivers to six markets weekly, in addition, to the Buffalo Urban League Food Pantry and several sites upon demand. In 2022, under Allison’s leadership Urban Fruits & Veggies (UFV) has helped serve nearly 80,000 individuals, and services both public and private schools, at the elementary level up to colleges and universities. Through Allison’s collaborative spirit, UFV also provides produce to businesses and restaurants as well. UFV also provides educational sessions on planting, gardening, and creating healthy and economical meal plans.

Allison is currently in partnership with developing a new indoor food production system, supported by NYPA. The hydroponic system will help advance urban farming technology and provide nutritional produce to underserved communities in and near Buffalo. The facility will grow herbs and vegetables year-round in an indoor environment, with no soil, and is designed to help understand food production’s impact on New York’s power grid, electricity usage, and carbon emissions. Moreover, Allision promotes supportive services, which include the Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program. In this endeavor, Allison works alongside the Community Health Centers of Buffalo and Niagara Street Pediatrics to provide over 75,000 individuals with fresh fruit and vegetables while being monitored for health improvements by the physicians and staff of her partners.

Congratulations to you, Allison.  We are so happy and proud to have you and your important work in our community! 

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