Cedar Rapids, IA
2021, 2020, 2018
Within the neighborhoods where Matthew 25 works are people who experience a variety of barriers that get in the way of healthy eating. Primary among those are the cost, proximity and knowledge required to grow, harvest and cook with fresh, organic food. The Cultivate Hope program seeks to remove these barriers and provide resources to children and adults related for growing, harvesting and preparing healthy food.
Mount Carmel Health Wellness and Community Center
Since 2011, Mt. Carmel operated an integrated healthcare clinic offering primary care, behavioral health, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, wellness education, and youth programming. In January 2018, Salud Family Health Center took over operation of the primary care and behavioral health services. Mt. Carmel continues to offer wellness education, prevention services, and youth programs. Mt. Carmel operates in a rural region of Colorado where one in four residents are over age 65, one in five live in poverty, more than half are minorities, and 74% of children in the school district qualify for free/reduced lunch. The region has a higher than average rate of chronic disease and health concerns. Wellness programs at Mt. Carmel improve the everyday health of our population by providing instruction for healthy living and support for chronic disease management. Youth programs offer unique educational opportunities not offered by other local programs or school districts. Our typical nutrition education includes cooking classes for seniors and low income families, and wellness and healthy food topics during other youth programs.
Mountain Roots Food Project
The integrated programs of Mountain Roots work to strengthen our food system, enhance community health, promote social equity, and regenerate our environment. Gunnison County is a USDA Class 2 Food Desert. Median incomes are lower than state average, costs of living are higher, and with rugged mountain elevations from 7,000-10,000 ft. creating geographic isolation, infrastructure gaps in this area are very real. Barriers to accessing healthy food are economic, educational/cultural, and physical (geography, transportation, seasonality, production, and distribution). We believe that food is at the center of individual and overall community health. With 31% of our students on free/reduced lunch, and 25.7% of Gunnison residents living in poverty, it’s important to us to support the food needs of underserved / low-income families and to compliment this increased access with nutrition and cooking education, knowledge and skills which promote self-sufficiency and lasting positive behavior change.
Kitchen Table Advisors pursues two strategies toward affecting regional change. Our direct service program provides in-depth, personalized support for low-income, organic and environmentally-sustainable farms and ranches.
The second pillar of our work is Regional Ecosystem Building, where we collaborate with allies on projects to shape institutions, markets, systems, and policies to create a friendlier marketplace for under-resourced producers - particularly those who face the most barriers - to gain more access to land, sales markets, and financing that truly meets their needs. One example is a project in which we developed a new land loan program in partnership with California FarmLink, to help entrepreneurs who would not be able to access loans from traditional lenders. The program has helped at least six KTA clients access $2 million in loans to purchase land, and financed at least six other farmers as well, creating new wealth-building opportunities for small organic producers.
National Young Farmers Coalition
2021, 2020, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
The National Young Farmers Coalition is a grassroots network of beginning farmers, ranchers, and supporters working together for a brighter, more equitable future for U.S. agriculture. We envision a country where young people who are willing to work hard, get trained, and take a little risk can support themselves and their families in farming. The Coalition tackles the structural challenges preventing young people from succeeding in farming and ranching, such as access to land, credit, and skilled labor, climate challenges, health insurance, racial injustice, and student loan debt. Our approach includes work in three key areas: coalition building, policy advocacy, and business services.
Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter
2021, 2020, 2018
Through education and advocacy NOFA/Mass promotes organic agriculture to expand the production and availability of nutritious food from living soil for the health of individuals, communities and the planet. Our Organic Food Distribution and Community Gardening Project includes intensive education in organic food production, and also distributing organic food through Open Pantry in Springfield Massachusetts. NOFA/Mass already partners with many Springfield organizations, particularly communities who are food insecure and living in food deserts where access to fresh food is unavailable. We offer the tools and skills to produce organic and culturally relevant food, including community gardens, and technical growing assistance. Open Pantry and the City of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services approached NOFA/Mass about collaborating because of our successful projects in Springfield in recent years.
Northern Illinois Food Bank
Northern Illinois Food Bank’s mission is to provide nutritious food and resources for our neighbors with dignity, equity and convenience through partnerships and innovation with a vision for everyone in Northern Illinois having the food they need to thrive. We are committed to increasing access to nutritious food and providing a food assistance experience that is neighbor-centered, convenient and equitable, aiming to serve at least 90% of our food insecure neighbors in our service area by 2025.
Open Arms of Minnesota Inc.
2021, 2020, 2019
OAM is the only nonprofit organization in Minnesota that prepares and delivers free meals medically tailored to meet the specific nutritional needs of those living with life-threatening illnesses like cancer, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, End Stage Renal Disease, and ALS. Open Arms deliveries are made five days per week. A typical weekly delivery for each client includes 12 medically tailored meals made in our kitchen: five entrees, a sandwich, two soups, three salads, five pieces of fresh fruit and other snacks, milk and cereal, as well as fresh bread and desserts from our bakery. All meals are collaboratively designed and prepared by our on-staff dietitians and a team of chefs to meet the nutritional requirements of individuals diagnosed with specific illnesses.
Organic Association of Kentucky
2021, 2020, 2019, 2017
Organic Transition Trainer Program provides technical assistance to farmers throughout Kentucky as they apply for USDA organic certification. Trainers are organic experts and provide free one-on-one consultations, assisting farmers with: understanding the foundations of organic production and management; adapting farming systems to meet the National Organic Program regulations; developing the farm’s Organic System Plan; demystifying the application process; verifying approved inputs; developing recordkeeping systems; and connecting farmers with other useful educational, financial and market resources appropriate for organic producers. Trainers conduct on-farms visits, phone consultations and email correspondence for as long as is needed to help a farmer through the application and recertifying process. In 2015 Kentucky farmers identified a gap in organic transition support and so OAK created this program in the fall of 2016. Through tailored informational meetings in the northern KY and western KY we will continue to convene conventional growers well as institutional partners and organic buyers for “Organic Transition” farmer meetings.
Organic Growers School
2021, 2020, 2019
OGS is the premier provider of practical and affordable organic education in the Southern Appalachians, building a vibrant food and farming community by boosting the success of organic home growers and farmers in our region. A 501c3 non-profit, we are based in Asheville, NC, and have been serving our region since 1993. Our hands-on training, workshops, conferences and partnerships strengthen and celebrate each grower’s move towards self-reliance.