Kansas City Community Gardens Inc.
Kansas City, MO
2021, 2020, 2019
The mission of Kansas City Community Gardens is to empower and inspire low-income households, schools and community groups in the Kansas City metropolitan area to grow their own vegetables and fruit. Hunger is a long-term condition of poverty across the country. Too often, solutions are limited to food charity and distribution. At KCCG, the empowerment of individuals, families and communities is at the very core of our approach to achieving greater food security. We use the Asset-Based Community Development model in working with low-income Kansas City communities. This approach catalyzes change within neighborhoods by fostering the existing capacities of the residents. Our Giving Grove orchards:
- Offer healthy calories: The average 15-tree Giving Grove orchard produces almost 4,000 pounds of healthy food each year, and 74,000 pounds over its lifetime.
- Strengthen community: Neighbors meet neighbors, children connect with nature, celebrations are held in the orchards and Improvements are made to nearby homes.
- Provide environmental benefits: Fruit trees sequester carbon, improve air quality and mitigate stormwater runoff, improving the urban environment.
La Cocina Va
La Cocina VA’s mission is to use the power of food as an agent of social and economic change generating workforce and entrepreneurship development, as well as providing healthy food assistance in the Washington, D.C. region. Our overall goal is to increase immigrants, especially women’s income, by obtaining higher wages, and retaining jobs that pay family-sustaining salaries and benefits. We are poised to make a larger impact on low-income individuals, mainly immigrants and women, in our region from our newly constructed Zero Barriers Training and Entrepreneurship Center (TEC), a unique social enterprise that is the first of its kind in the region. Our Culinary Training Program offers 12 weeks of culinary training, English, job-readiness, financial literacy and nutrition classes. Students are certified in culinary arts and food safety, placed in a paid internship provided by our employer partners in hotels, restaurants and catering companies which lead to a permanent job-offers. Our Healthy Food Assistance Program provides healthy meals to homeless shelters and low-income housing facilities. We are launching a Culinary Small Business Incubator to support up to 30 food-related entrepreneurs to start or expand their own food-related businesses. Services include access to infrastructure, capacity-building, access to micro-lending and exposure to distribution outlets.
Land to Learn Inc
Land to Learn is a growing garden-based education program that serves more than 5,000 children in New York’s Hudson Valley. We strive for food justice and community wellness through garden-based education. In the communities that need it most, we work to empower our students so that they have the knowledge, social and emotional skills, perspective, and encouragement needed to understand and address challenges in their communities, starting with brave healthy eating and academic success.
Lovin Spoonfuls Inc
Lovin' Spoonfuls is dedicated to facilitating the rescue and distribution of healthy, fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. Lovin' Spoonfuls works efficiently to deliver this food directly to the community organizations and resources where it can have the greatest impact. Lovin' Spoonfuls is committed to addressing the health, environmental, and economic impact that food waste has on our community.
Lower Columbia School Gardens
LCSG promotes healthy behaviors, increases nutrition knowledge, and builds skills for cooking and gardening with kids and families in Longview and Kelso, WA. Because of us, families have increased access to fresh, organic, locally grown produce, regardless of their ability to pay, their ability or interest in gardening or their lack of access to fresh foods because of where they live. Each day, we are meeting children where they already learn and play, providing them the skills, exposure and excitement to foster healthy habits that last a lifetime. Our 19 gardens are filled with healthy, fresh and organic food in beautiful outdoor learning spaces. Much of our produce is consumed by kids while they are participating in our garden-based programs; extra food is distributed to families who need it in our community through various methods and community partners.
Maine Farmland Trust Inc
Farm Fresh Rewards helps low-income Mainers put more healthy food on their tables by doubling the buying power of their SNAP benefits. For every $5 of local foods purchased, we provide a $5 voucher toward local fruits and vegetables.
Farm Fresh Rewards vouchers enable customers to stretch their dollars while contributing to the local economy and feeling greater control over their choices—an empowering way to get more food on the table. While food banks help to bridge this gap, the experience can be difficult and isolating for some low-income residents. Providing increased purchasing power for our participants strengthens their sense of community and agency. As one customer shared, “This program is on many levels a life-saver, in that I get to eat good quality food, I get to support my local farmers and vendors, and in my mind all of that is a win-win.”
Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association
2021, 2020, 2019
At MOFGA we have found that the Farm Beginnings® program, with its focus on ensuring the long-term sustainability of farms through business and whole-farm planning, is the most effective educational tool we have. It is farmer-led, community based, and...it works! It has been lauded as "a national model for creating strong farm businesses.”
2021, 2020, 2019
Mandela Partners (MP) is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with local residents, family farmers, and community-based businesses to improve health, create wealth, and build assets through local food enterprises in low-income communities. MP has long operated Mandela Produce Distribution--a food hub that supports local, sustainable, limited-resource growers by distributing produce through a local, alternative network of food access initiatives, small grocers, and community retailers. Through its established Healthy Retail Network, MP is increasing access and availability of healthy foods among corner stores and community produce stands operating at schools, health centers, and affordable housing complexes throughout Alameda County, California. MP has successfully operated the Fresh Creds incentive program, which gives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-recipient shoppers a 50% discount on California grown fruits and vegetables purchased from HRN stores. As a business incubator, MP provides business advising services to start-up businesses, and limited-resource entrepreneurs. MP successfully supported the launch of Mandela Grocery Cooperative, a for-profit grocery retail enterprise that opened for business in June of 2009, and is currently incubating Zella’s Soulful Kitchen, MPD, the Ashland Market & Cafe.
Manna Conejo Valley Food Distribution Center Inc
Thousand Oaks, California
Founded in 1971 by a group of people who felt that people should always have access to food, Manna has been providing food assistance to those in our community who are in need.
Our mission is simple — “To feed hungry people in the Conejo Valley.” Manna served approximately 7,532 people in 2019.
St Louis Park, MN
MATTER is on a mission to move people forward by giving them a chance at a healthier life. Internationally, we give hospitals the tools they need to care for the sick and injured in dignified ways and create sustainable farms. Opportunity also reaches people through the MATTER Innovation Hub, a portable learning environment that can implemented anywhere in the world. In the U.S. we activate healthy eating for kids and families through the MATTERbox, a novel solution to food insecurity and nutrition education. MATTERbox snack packs and meal kits were developed to address the challenge that due to obesity, unhealthy eating and physical inactivity, kids today may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, especially for people living at or below the poverty level. In response to this alarming trend, MATTER partnered with dietitians to craft the MATTERbox. Working with community partners, MATTERbox snack packs and meal kits are distributed to kids and families in need.