Moveable Feast’s food delivery service, Faith Feeds Kentucky program, Seedleaf Farms, and a look at the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Farm Program are featured.
NONPROFITS & NUTRITION: Our seventh episode, “Kentucky Nonprofits & Nutrition” hosted by Brian Simmons, features segments on Moveable Feast’s food delivery service and Faith Feeds glean Kentucky program. We’ll visit Seedleaf Farms and learn how they are nourishing our communities and take a look at the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Farm Program. Hosted from a “live kitchen” featuring Simply Nutritious by Kate, this will be an appetite pleasing program not to be missed!
In order to motivate people to find their passion for helping, kNOwMore Nonprofits provides current, informative and educational overviews of impactful nonprofits located throughout Kentucky, recognizing that without these nonprofits the health and stability of our communities would be at risk.
NEW ROOTS PRODUCE
New Roots works to improve the distribution and utilization of fresh foods by facilitating leadership development, improving access to fresh food for urban residents, providing education to families on the use of fresh foods, and facilitating opportunities in the city for local and regional farmers and food producers through the Fresh Stop Project.
New Roots Produce provides educational materials and professional guidance on the use of fresh food products, and contacts with local farmers and distributors so that participating communities are able to develop successful long-term relationships leading to healthy lifestyles for member families. They have a track record of implementing successful community-based Fresh Stop programs, and they look forward to continuing and expanding their efforts in the future.
For more information, please visit New Roots Produce’s website at: http://www.newrootsproduce.org/
Sweet Blessings has a group of volunteers to make unforgettable birthday cakes for 5 to 14 year olds who live in poverty or are experiencing life threatening illness. The organization creates about 25 cakes on average per week. The cakes are delivered to the child through a social worker or carer, where they celebrate with a group of friends. Sweet Blessings began 2 years ago and is currently expanding into a third location in Kentucky. The organization recently celebrated their anniversary with a bake-a-thon.
People who had never decorated cakes before came and helped to create the 50 cakes that were scheduled to be made. Without Sweet Blessings, there would not be a place for people to come and be involved with an organization that blends food and creativity with a social cause. Also, the children for who the cakes are made, may not receive as much notice on their birthday without a special surprise like a custom cake.
For more information, please visit their website at:
The Bread Box Development
The Bread Box Development (the building where we’re located) is full of great tenants and has a lot of community energy already invested in it. Plus, the neighborhood has a wealth of human capital both in long-term residents and new players of rising businesses along with Transylvania University and BCTC. Given that, it seems an overstatement to say that FoodChain’s absence would mean an end to the critical work needed in reconnecting people to their food. However, they are certain that should their efforts cease, the progress would come along much much slower and would never reach the impact that FoodChain hopes to inspire.
Part of FoodChain’s innovation is its willingness to tackle a very complex set of circumstances with sustainable solutions. Without our work, only the direst problems, such as extreme hunger or homelessness would be addressed, mostly through temporary “band-aid” type solutions like food from food pantries or housing in emergency shelters. People in their community would still continue to remain detached from their food, making unhealthy food choices with their meager supplies. Furthermore, we as a population would continue to slip further down the road to diet-related illnesses and joblessness. Obviously, the status quo will not continue to serve us, and thus we need working models of innovative solutions like FoodChain provides to inspire new thinking and radical change, not just for their immediate neighbors, but for communities around their state and the country struggle with identical circumstances.
For more information on Food Chain Lexington or The Bread Box Development, please visit their website at: http://www.foodchainlex.org/
THE FOOD LITERACY PROJECT
The Food Literacy Project offers the only farm-based food education program available to the Louisville community. While other organizations work towards improved health through nutrition education, our Field-to-Fork Program model is distinctive in its use of experiential education to directly connect youth and families with fresh food, the people who grow it, the land and each other. Ultimately, our efforts improve community health and quality of life. The comprehensive and interconnected approach of our Field-to-Fork Program allows FLP to reach youth of multiple age groups while providing continuing opportunities for young people to participate and deepen their relationship with healthful foods.
For example, a student starts participation in our program in grades K-2 with a single field study at the farm; in grade 3 or 4 the student participates in a multiple-visit farm-based education experience; in 4th-8th grade the student can stay involved through a Field-to-Fork Afterschool Club; as a teen the student can be hired to participate in FLP’s summer Youth Community Agriculture Program. Our family and community engagement efforts provide further opportunities for youth and families to sustain and deepen relationships with fresh foods. Without FLP’s service to the Louisville community, diet-related disease rates will continue to rise steadily and youth will continue to suffer a growing disconnection from the natural world. Young people will not have access to farm-based education where they can learn the skills necessary to become leaders in their community and advocates for improving access to healthful foods for their families, neighbors and themselves.
Without FLP’s Field-to-Fork program, young people will not have the opportunity to develop positive experiences with fresh foods that will enable them to make healthful food choices when faced with the temptation and convenience of fast, processed foods. Families in many low-income Louisville neighborhoods will continue to turn to fast food drive-through windows to meet their food needs, and home-cooked family meals will remain the exception rather than the norm. School gardens might be constructed, but without support from the Food Literacy Project, they likely will remain unused by educators who do not have the time or knowledge necessary to incorporate outdoor education into their curriculum. Without the innovative work of the Food Literacy Project, obesity rates in Kentucky will continue to skyrocket among adults and children. If current trends continue young people’s health will continue to diminish, and 1 in 3 children born after 2000 will develop diabetes.
For more information regarding The Food Literacy Project, please visit their website at: http://www.foodliteracyproject.org/
GREEN HOUSE 17
Green House 17 serves survivors of intimate partner abuse and their communities in the 17 county Bluegrass Area Development District. We do this by sheltering over 230 individuals a year who are fleeing unsafe homes, providing thousands of court advocacy services, providing access to and financial assistance for attorneys, answering thousands of crisis and informational calls, conducting trauma informed care and peer led support groups, educating teens about dating violence, and partnering with multiple community agencies to provide the holistic care. The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association estimates that 1 in 3 Kentucky women will be victims of intimate partner abuse and that as many as 50% of homeless women and children are homeless due to domestic violence. These are the families and individuals we serve.
Without Green House 17’s services, the barriers holding many of these individuals in violent homes or keeping them homeless would still exist. While domestic violence does not discriminate, the vast majority of survivors we serve do not have any other resources. They would be either homeless or in constant fear without the resources we provide. Recently, Green House 17 received a letter from a former client thanking us for the services we provided her and her son. This case presented a very high lethality risk and involved interstate agencies. No one at the table quite knew where was the safest place for this family.
They came to Green House 17. While shelters can be very intimidating places exacerbating the trauma already held by victims, this client felt that we not only provided her with a safe space to go, but also treated her with a level of respect, love and kindness she has not experienced in other agencies since receiving our services. Specifically, she mentioned how she always felt welcomed by staff and that their doors were always open to her. She went on to say that had her first experience not been with our shelter, she would have returned to a lethal situation. We believe that it is our job to love people until they learn to love themselves. The survivors who walk through our doors are deserving; they are of value.
For more information, please visit their site at:
Seedleaf is a small nonprofit. They have a staff of two and an AmeriCorps VISTA member. Seedlead operates ten community gardens and five market gardens. They offer weekly cooking events for area youth, and monthly cooking events for adults (Soups On). They are putting forth small, applicable solutions to global problems.
Unfortunately, if Seedleaf ceased to exist, it is likely that much of Lexington would not notice. As one board member puts it, we are too small to fail. The difference we aim to make is likely to take the next 40 years. While they have what we think are impressive metrics on the number of area youth we are reaching, and the number of volunteers we are engaging, the deepest part of our work has to do with building relationships, and helping people change their diets and activities over the course of a number of years. It took our society quite some time to get into this mess; barring some calamity, it is likely to take us that much time to get back to a more healthy way of living on our earth. If Seedleaf ceased to be, it would represent a missed opportunity for communities in Lexington to move toward that healthy life.
However, we also think that on the day that Seedleaf concluded they work, or ceased to be funded to do their mission, many participants and volunteers who have partnered with them in this work would carry their positive impressions from their programming to other fertile soils.
These seeds would move out from our realm of influence and bear fruit that cannot be anticipated. This is the hopefulness of the garden: even from death all is not lost, and something good can come in its proper season.
For more information, please visit their website at:http://www.seedleaf.org/
Faith Feeds is on its way to establishing an infrastructure for providing healthy food to homeless and low-income men, women and children in Central Kentucky.In just the last two and one-half years, nearly 200,000 pounds of food has been diverted from the waste stream and thousands of individuals have had a little more access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Faith Feeds has provided peaches that were made into peach milkshakes for children and a peach cake for adults; fresh sweet corn, which created smiles as wide as the ears were long; an opportunity for middle school youth to learn how to make tomato sauce and pumpkin pie filling; and an avenue for community involvement and understanding of the food challenges faced by nearly one-half of our community. Faith Foods have just touched the tip of the iceberg. With time, they can divert much greater quantities of food that would otherwise go to waste so that people throughout Kentucky have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
While it may sound like “pie in the sky”, they believe they can help significantly decrease, if not eliminate, hunger in the Commonwealth. Without Faith Feeds this opportunity will be missed!
For more information, please visit their website at:
Our seventh episode, “Kentucky Nonprofits & Nutrition” hosted by Brian Simmons, features segments on Moveable Feast’s food delivery service and Faith Feeds glean Kentucky program. We’ll visit Seedleaf Farms and learn how they are nourishing our communities and take a look at the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Farm Program. Hosted from a “live kitchen” featuring Simply Nutritious by Kate, this will be an appetite pleasing program not to be missed!