National Resilience Fund Round 1 Grantees
We are excited to announce the first round of National Resilience Fund grants to 23 initiatives around the country! The fund is designed to give direct financial support to vital businesses and workers in community-based food systems, through local Slow Food chapters and groups. By injecting extra funds to local community initiatives that most need support now, we will help them survive the current crisis and build resilient economies and communities for the future, with good, clean and fair food front and center.
Big thanks to the 66 donors who contributed $18K, to Whole Foods Market in Dallas for donating $10K to Slow Food Dallas partners and to the Betsy Lydon Memorial Fund for a generous $4000 contribution. This fund is proof that, together, we can make a big impact!
We are now turning our attention to raising funds for Round Two. We were only able to fund half of the applicants, and we want to change that. Your donation here is an investment in the long-term bio-cultural diversity of our food chain.
SLOW FOOD DALLAS + GROW North Texas: Farm Fresh Produce for WIC Families
The project facilitates the Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers, which provide farm-direct fresh fruits and vegetables for WIC families each year. In the face of COVID-19, more farm stand locations will be operated to reach as many families as possible in Dallas with this extra benefit. The GROW North Texas team knows it is imperative that we leverage this existing program to support as many families as possible in this time of economic uncertainty. Staff member Darciea Houston made a video about the Farm Stand at one WIC clinic.
SLOW FOOD UTAH + UTAH DINÉ BIKÉYAH: Seeds & Sheep
San Juan County and Navajo Nation, UTAH
Seeds and Sheep is a project created to support Native farmers and sheep producers, to maintain self-sufficient food systems and build food resiliency for times of crisis and beyond. Utah Diné Bikéyah, through the Seeds and Sheep program, is sourcing seeds and sheep from Native seed keepers and sheep producers to give out free of charge to Native families interested in expanding their food sovereignty in preparation for trying times, like the COVD-19 pandemic we are currently living through. Their goals include providing emergency food aid to the community, sourcing seeds and lambs from community members to help other community members, and restoring self-sufficient food systems.
SLOW FOOD DETROIT + Oakland Avenue Urban Farm: Increase Access to Nutritional Food in the time of COVID 19
Oakland Avenue Urban Farm is providing hot meals and CSA food shares to 40 families. Since March 15th (COVID 19), they have distributed 3,000 hot meals to families with children and seniors. They have also built an emergency food pantry in their community house where families can get food as needed. They do not see access to healthy food increasing in the near future so they are continuing to distribute food twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays. In addition to food, they have also distributed PPE to families and front-line workers.
SLOW FOOD EAST BAY: Sister Farms Project
East Bay of San Francisco, California
In response to seeing farmers—and farmers of color in particular—lose sales after shelter in place orders, Slow Food East Bay worked with regional partners to launch the Sister Farms Project. They’re finding urban CSAs and food distribution programs to purchase produce, and creating new rural-urban networks and sales opportunities that specifically uplift disadvantaged farmers. The funds granted will cover delivery costs for six months, enabling the Sister Farms Project to move past the cost barrier and begin moving food. The grant also funds twenty weekly produce boxes filled by urban partners and donated to families in need and community organizations serving nutritious meals to the hungry.
SLOW FOOD TURTLE ISLAND ASSOCIATION: Feeding Our Indigenous Elders
Twin Cities, Minneapolis
At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, programs providing food to our Native American elders were shut down. Chef Brian Yazzie has teamed up with local Native volunteers, including the staff of the Gatherings Café at the Minneapolis American Indian Center to create project #FeedingOurElders, which utilizes donations from around the city and country to provide healthy lunches for the Indigenous elders in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. This project has provided meals 5 days a week to over a hundred elders since the end of March, as well as an opportunity for volunteers to explore and refine cooking skills around working with Indigenous ingredients, and cooking for a large group. The meals will continue until regular elder feeding programs are resumed.
SLOW FOOD TURTLE ISLAND ASSOCIATION + DINé COMMUNITY ADVOCACY ALLIANCE: Diné Nation Grassroots COVID-19 Response
Diné Nation (Navajo Nation), NEW MEXICO
As Diné advocates see the dire need on the Diné Nation to address food insecurity, access to healthful foods and clean drinking water, and a need to reclaim the ancestral practices of food traditionalism, these funds will support the importance of growing their own food, supporting the local food system, promoting Diné food heritage, and raising awareness of the influential role of unhealthy food and healthful food consumption at this very time of the pandemic. These funds will also be used to further support the immediate basic needs of vulnerable Diné tribal citizens, including supporting First Responders and their families in the Four Corners area, and continuation of grassroots community-led public health interventions of reducing and eliminating the risks and spread of COVID-19 in and around the Navajo Nation.
SLOW FOOD ALBUQUERQUE + TS’UYYA FARM: Mobile cold storage infrastructure
Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico
Funds will go to building a mobile cold storage trailer to transport local crops to markets that are outside of the greater Albuquerque area, specifically high-need communities with limited access to fresh produce. The aim is to provide the community in Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, with fresh, naturally grown food produced by local farmers. The mobile cold storage unit will allow produce to be stored in a refrigerated, food-safe environment for longer periods of time and will keep the product fresh after harvest and during long transports. It is critical during these hard times to get fresh produce to families in need because of the high infection rates happening in Indigenous communities.
SLOW FOOD DALLAS + Farmers Assisting Returning Military: EXPANSION OF LOCAL FOOD PRODUCTION
The first priority of the F.A.R.M. is to foster a renewed sense of purpose in the lives of veterans. By establishing a new mission and purpose through farming, veterans leverage their leadership and team building skills to continue serving their communities after being discharged from active duty — taking on their new mission of healing America’s distressed food system.
The Urban F.A.R.M. will serve as a conduit for veterans transitioning into civilian life, education, food security, health and growing a greener Dallas. Veterans will once again become leaders in the community educating on the importance of growing your own food, sustainable food systems and nutrition while also serving as a green space for visitors to enjoy a refreshing and relaxing atmosphere.
SLOW FOOD DALLAS + The Oak Cliff Veggie Project: PRODUCE DISTRIBUTION AND STORAGE
The Oak Cliff Veggie Project is a collective 501(c)3 organization impacting the under-served and oppressed communities of Dallas, Texas. Their mission is to cultivate healthier, stronger, more self-reliant communities. Their project initiatives are designed to empower individuals and communities of Southern Dallas with the re-introduction of cooperative community cultivation practices.
SLOW FOOD TURTLE ISLAND ASSOCIATION + Pine Ridge Reservation: ORGANIC GARDENING SEEDS
Pine Ridge, South Dakota
Lakota families in Pine Ridge will receive garden kits of organic seed, gardening tools and resources for planting a garden and growing food. The Oglala Sioux Tribe is on lockdown and has been for the last month, with borders closed to non-Tribal members. Shopping for food is limited to grocery stores on the Rez and inflated prices are making healthy, fresh food difficult to obtain. Planting a garden is helpful during this crisis, to keep families healthy and promote fresh food options. Generosity, sharing and feeding the people is a Lakota virtue.
SLOW FOOD DETROIT + DEEPLY ROOTED: LOCAL PRODUCE Delivery TO LOW-INCOME SENIORS AND VETERANS
They are providing elder community members with a specialized service that decreases the need for them to leave their homes during COVID-19. Included in this service is three locally sourced pre-packaged meals, three recipes with ingredients and instructions, and five citrus fruits that are of much benefit to the immune system. Their goal is to serve 800 seniors and veterans between June and November 2020. The funds granted will be spent on local produce aggregation and inventory, as well as supplies for this service.
slow food sante fe + Railyard park conservancy: railyard park Community Garden
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Railyard Park Conservancy (RPC) is a nonprofit organization providing community stewardship for the horticultural care, educational programming, and public art in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s 10-acre Railyard Park. Each spring the RPC coordinates and oversees an 11-bed Community Garden. This year, the RPC is supporting Santa Fe Public School’s (SFPS) Adelante Program with organic, local produce grown in the garden. This project provides fresh produce to families experiencing housing insecurity within SFPS while connecting communities through the shared cultivation and harvesting of food in a public greenspace. This effort is maintained by a cadre of youth and adult volunteers, community gardeners, and neighbors from nearby St. Elizabeth’s Shelter.
slow food springfield: Slow Garden Community Share
Since 2016, Slow Food Springfield has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Central IL and Grow Springfield to provide garden programming and annual farm tours to the students enrolled at the BGCCIL. With the award from the Slow Food National Resilience Fund, these three organizations will work together to pack and deliver Slow Garden Community Share boxes containing a variety of organic produce and recipes to 80 students, bi-weekly, from July through August.
slow food indianapolis: Seeds for Good
Slow Food Indianapolis is offering support to farmers markets in central Indiana who are waiving vendor fees and giving financial aid to the purchase of much needed PPE for volunteers and farmers market workers, which can be cost prohibitive to some organizations. Along with this support, their SEEDS for Good program will also go to help buy leftover produce and overstock from vendors that will be donated to food pantries and other organizations that are working to fight hunger in vulnerable communities in Indianapolis.
Slow Fish + Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust: COVID-19 safe delivery of local seafood to support Slow Fish producers
Sitka + Anchorage + Fairbanks + Juneau, Alaska
ALFA and partner organization the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust operate a community supported fisheries program called Alaskans Own to connect consumers to sustainably sourced seafood. In response to the pandemic, ALFA drew on existing infrastructure and partnerships to launch a seafood donation program that provides weekly distribution of seafood directly to Sitka families in need and through existing food pantries at Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Salvation Army, and the Sitka’s Against Family Violence shelter. The grant from Slow Foods supports our Alaskans Own program in sharing locally harvested seafood with local families in need during these challenging times.
slow food dallas + heard that foundatoin: Farm to Home — Farmer’s Bags for Our Hospitality Family
Even before this pandemic, the hospitality industry was a vulnerable population: low pay, little access to health care and often no paid sick leave. Furthering their mission of support and resiliency, Heard That Foundation believes that eating local, nutrient dense foods is the first step to promoting health and wellness in their community. By purchasing directly from local farmers, the Farm to Home project has a double impact by helping farmers move product while providing access to healthy eating. With support and donations, they hope to continue this program as long as possible.
slow fish: Purchase license and packing material for direct sales
Kindra Arnesen’s family, like so many in the fishing industry, have found themselves transitioning from bulk dock sales to direct consumer sales and in need of the correct permits and packing material. They’ll use the funds to purchase the permits, scale, and packing material. Permits include creating a LLC, state wholesale retail license, and the federal dealer permit. Currently, they sell they catch under her husband’s commercial sales card and his state fresh product license. But that is not enough to sell the federal regulated species and that is the majority of what they land. These permits would allow them to transition their business into more a boat-to-table business.
SLOW FOOD DALLAS + Good Local Markets
Good Local Markets is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Dallas, Texas whose mission is to support local farmers and ranchers, incubate small businesses, increase food access, and cultivate healthy communities. The funding from Slow Food will help support their two farmers markets so that they may continue to provide a place for farmers to sell and for community members to access clean, fair food. Funding will also help cover their SNAP incentive program that allows them to double the value of SNAP dollars at the market to make fresh local food more affordable for low income families.
slow food asheville + utopian seed project: Eat It, Grow It — Winter Storage and Summer Growing Food Boxes
Asheville, North Carolina
The Utopian Seed Project has an experimental farm where they grow a wide diversity of varieties and crops. As part of their educational outreach, and fueled by a strong desire to support its local food system, they plan to distribute “Eat It, Grow It: Winter Storage, Summer Growing Food Boxes.” The boxes will be full of harvest produce from their experimental farm in winter storage form (i.e. dehydrated okra rings, taro roots and sweet potatoes); plus the box will also contain resources to grow the very same food the following season (i.e. okra seeds and instructions on how to sprout a sweet potato). The concept is to inspire with food, and empower with the resources and knowledge to grow that food.
slow food denver + We Tend to Grow: Growing more food to feed those lacking fresh food access
Growing more food to feed those lacking fresh food access, is a collaboration between Grow Local Colorado and Slow Food Denver (SFD) in which the funding will gratefully go toward additional plants, seeds, soil and garden tools. These longtime community partners have worked together in everything from SFD helping to establish and tend Grow Local’s first garden plot in 2008, to garden events and most recently an Earth Day seed giveaway. So while GLC is securing the additional gardening spaces, SFD will assist in providing the much relied upon community volunteers for the season, demonstrating how this interwoven partnership between these two organizations is the necessary structure for a resilient community. They will both work to provide a place to learn, to support a local food chain, to nourish the earth, to nurture their neighbors in need and yes, GROW.
slow food denver + Acequia Institute: Reforest Now Project
Denver + San Luis, Colorado
They will purchase fruit trees and food-bearing shrubs, vines, and plants to give to the gardeners/farmers in their natural networks both in Denver and in San Luis. Their natural networks include many people of color, people in food deserts, and people who are familiar with Indigenous Agro-Ecology and healing the connection between land and people. We plan to purchase these plants at a discount with our existing 501(c)3 status to multiply the number of plants offered to gardeners and farmers. Up to 20% of the funds will be spent on amendments and tools.
slow food nyc: Urban Harvest Farm at Ujima
Brooklyn, New York
Slow Food NYC Urban Harvest teaches NYC children about the effects of good food on their wellbeing, communities, and health of the planet. Part of this work happens through Ujima, a community garden located in East New York. Due to COVID-19, they’ll be modifying the program to address food access needs in the neighborhood by growing food to distribute to community members in need for free. Led by a farmer that has worked with them for many years, he’ll be working to grow nutrient rich food with the help of the SFNYC volunteer board members. And to ensure that they get food to those who need it most, they’ll be partnering with community based organizations to connect with local residents.
Congratulations and good luck to all the winners!
Thank you Slow Food USA for initiating the National Resilience Funds and Whole Foods Dallas for supporting five organizations’ important projects in strengthening local farm direct markets with those you most need food access.
So much good work helping people to help themselves! Makes me glad to have joined Slow Food!
Thank you Slow Food USA for your support of our local Dallas Community!
What a wonderful group of awardees! Would be very interested in reading about how those funds have had great outcomes in the past year.