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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Capital Roots CEO Amy Klein discusses efforts to SQUASH HUNGER - 12/12

Capital Roots has grown and evolved over its four decades of service to the great Capital Region community. This is especially true for the past 21 years that Amy Klein has been at the helm of the organization. On Wednesday, December 12 we will hear about Klein’s part in the journey of the Capital District Community Gardens becoming Capital Roots.

Klein joined the nonprofit organization in 1996 as Executive Director. She was one of just two employees at the time, sharing a small office in the basement of an old brownstone on 8th Street in Troy. Under her leadership, the organization grew by leaps and bounds. The year she arrived, Capital Roots, or CDCG as many knew it, served the Troy community with community gardens and street tree plantings with a $66,000 budget. However, as her years with Capital Roots grew, so too did the organization’s offerings. Today Capital Roots serves hundreds of thousands of people in four counties through 12 distinct programs, providing neighbors with access to fresh, affordable and often local food.

Klein successfully manages a $2 million budget and a constantly growing organization today while at the same time building, maintaining and growing strong community partnerships. Innovation and calculated risks are the keys to her success. Klein developed the original model for mobile markets when she created the organization’s Veggie Mobile in 2007. This model of bringing fresh affordable food directly into communities lacking food security is now used nationwide across countless American communities. Klein opened the doors to the Urban Grow Center in December 2014, a project 10 years in the making.

In addition to her leadership at Capital Roots, Klein is the founder and co-chair of the Capital Region Healthy Communities Coalition, a board member of Troy 20/20, member of the Capital Region Diabetes Task Force, and part of the Albany & Schenectady Strategic Alliance for Health, the Rensselaer County Wellness Committee and Troy’s Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative.

Guests are encouraged to share the warmth of the season with our neighbors in need by bringing a contribution for Capital Roots’ SQUASH HUNGER program, which collects and distributes more than 40 tons of fresh produce annually to the region’s food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. Typically, most donated food is canned and dry goods. Though processed foods can be nutritious, fresh food empowers people with the energy they need to lead healthy, productive lives. Any produce is acceptable, but the most desired items have a long shelf life, and include: Potatoes/Yams; Squash; Apples; Carrots; Beets; Oranges; Onions/Garlic; Turnips; Melons; Peppers; Cucumbers; Bananas.

This luncheon is sponsored by architecture+, a design and service-oriented architectural, planning and interiors firm located in the city of Troy. Founded in 1984, they have evolved into one of New York's most respected firms. For architecture+, serving people and their communities is a conscious choice that leads not just to great buildings, but to meaningful places that reflect their clients’ best aspirations.

The cost for the December luncheon is $20, which may be paid at the door. The Roundtable also offers its guests the option of paying in advance with a credit card. The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 12:30. Reservations for the December 12 luncheon are required by Monday, December 10 and may be made by prepaying online, by calling and leaving a message to register at 518-992-5360, or by sending an e-mail to