Wed May 4 18:08:57 EDT 2011
Ground Up operates three gardens/farms on 12 acres, producing over
lbs. of food last year. About 35% of the produce goes to the 125
the community supported agriculture arrangement, who subsidize much of
operating costs for the rest of the program. Another 10% or so is sold
restaurants and health food stores, and the other 50% is sold at well
market price through the seven farm stands.
As with the Pittsburgh model, these farm stands were designed to
community access to fresh foods in isolated areas. They also serve as
economic development vehicles, providing part time jobs and profits
community organizations and churches. Leigh Hauter, director of the
notes however that one of the primary reasons for the farmstands is to
connections and organize low income communities, while helping them
better understand questions of food security and environmental
In Los Angeles, the 1992 civil disturbances proved to be the impetus
L.A. Regional Foodbank to become a more active force in its low income
community through the development of a community garden. With federal
greening funding, the Foodbank developed the 7.5 acre patch adjacent
warehouse. Increased self-reliance is only one benefit for the
members. Located in a neighborhood devoid of parks, the garden has
important community place for meetings and celebration. Birthday
barbecues are common on weekends.
The garden has been so successful (with an 80 person waiting list),
food bank will be developing the second adjacent 7.5 acre parcel. The
Foodbank now has two community gardening persons on staff, and is
assist pantries in developing their own gardens.
Four hundred miles to the north in Oakland, the Alameda County
Bank has been attempting to foster relationships between local growers
residential treatment programs. Motivated by a desire to help support
organic farmers while educating low-income consumers on seasonal
the environmental impacts of food production, the Food Bank project is
vision of staff nutritionist Leslie Mikkelsen. She notes that, "I feel
we have a role in the local food system. Because we are concerned
security we should be concerned about preserving agricultural
The project has run into a few snags since its inception six months
Having run out of funding, the Project has yet to convince a treatment
program to purchase directly from a farmer. Leslie thinks that this is
because they have focused on high-priced organic produce and farmers
don't produce sufficient variety to meet the needs of the treatment
She notes that any future effort will most likely include larger scale
growers (100-200 acres) and focus on local rather than organic
These are just a sampling of the many food security projects that food
across the country are undertaking. In Atlanta, the Food Bank has
an educational program with a Hunger 101 curriculum as well as hosts
community forum on affordable housing every month. The Greater Boston
Bank operates the Kitchen Works Program which adds value to bulk and
foods to make nutritious alternatives. In Hatfield MA, the Western
Massachusetts Food Bank operates a CSA farm much like the ones in
For other food banks interested in taking on similar projects, a few
themes run through each of these organizations' experiences.
* Financial sustainability: Find a way to keep the Project from
food bank's resources. Funders often like these kind of projects.
generating arrangements like CSAs can provide an important subsidy.
* Vision and Plan: Having an eye for where you're going can keep your
on-track and free from multiple side distractions.
* Step by Step: Most successful projects added one component at a
try to solve all the problems at once. They'll wait for you.
* Know Your Limitations: A couple food banks had to put a halt to
training components of their programs once they realized that they
equipped to be providing the life skills training that the workers
For more information:
Joyce Rothermel; Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, 412-672-4949.
Bloch; LA Regional Foodbank, 213-234-3030. Bill Bolling; Atlanta
Food Bank, 404-892-9822. Leigh Hauter; Capitol Area Community Food
526 5344. Leslie Mikkelsen; Alameda County Community Food Bank,
Maria Markham; Greater Boston Food Bank, 617-427- 5200. David Sharken;
Western Mass. Food Bank, 413-247-9738
FROM THE FIELD
National Association of the Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, October
Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mark Winne, 203-296-9325.
The American Community Gardening Association's Gardening: Pathways to
Community, October 5- 8; Portland, Oregon. Leslie Pohl-Kosbau,
and Recreation, 503-823-1612.
The Marin Institute's Safe Communities: Toward a Comprehensive Urban
October 5-8; St. Helena, South Carolina. Sheila James, Marin
The 1995 Western Region Community Supported Agriculture, November
Francisco. Jared Lawson, CSA West, 408-459-3964.
Northeast SAWG, "Annual Harvest Fair Conference," October 10-11;
Kathy Ruhf, New England Small Farm Institute, 413-323-4531.
The California Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's Rural-Urban
Partnerships for a Sustainable Food System, December 2-3; Menlo Park.
Siedenburg, CALSAWG, 408-458-5304.
The National Congress for Community Economic Development' A Vision for
through Community Economic Development, October 5-7; Portland,
The E. F. Schumacher Society's 15th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures
featuring Cathrine Sneed, Paul Hawken, and Kent Whealy, October 21;
Haven, CT. E. F. Schumacher Society, 413-528-1737.
Projects and Studies
Nationwide: The University of CT's Food Marketing Policy Center
released a comprehensive study of the lack of supermarkets in 21 inner
cities. Entitled, "The Urban Grocery Store Gap," it is available from
Cotterill at 203-486-1927.
San Francisco: The San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners Alemany
Youth Farm provides an integrated model for an urban farm. It
community gardening, youth job training, a vinegar product
components, as well as a greenhouse, orchards, and appropriate
For more information, contact Muhammad Nuru, 415-285-SLUG
Los Angeles: Venice High School has teamed up with the environmental
organization Earthsave, Common Ground Gardening Program, and some of
best-known chefs in Los Angeles to implement the Healthy School Meals
Program. This program will educate students on the environmental
their food choices, assist the food service director in providing
alternatives in the school cafeteria, and revamp the school's
garden. For more information, contact Susan Campbell at Earthsave,
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WELFARE REFORM ANALYSIS
Ed. note: Given the potential impact of proposed welfare reform
on the food security of low-income individuals, as well as its
nature, we have chosen to focus this page on the welfare reform debate
legislation currently making its way through Congress. This article
a synopsis of the Dole bill- the one most likely to be acted upon,
by a summary of the negative effects that this bill would have on
persons. If passed, this bill would have to reconciled with the House
(HR4) in conference committee, and then signed or vetoed by the
Frank Tamborello, Southern Calif. Interfaith Hunger Coalition
Senator Dole's proposal is called S. 1120. It contains a total of $16
in food stamp cuts over five years. The cuts include an across the
reduction in benefit levels, a reduction in the allowable standard
a repeal in increases in the minimum benefit level, a repeal in the
in the value of a vehicle that the household may own, and a change
energy assistance to be counted as income in determining food stamp
In addition, the Dole bill includes an option for a state to decide to
grant the food stamp program. Once the state
did this, it could not return to the federal food stamp program.
would have to be in the form of coupons, commodities, or through
transfer (not cash). 80% of the block grant funds would have to be
food. Some Senators may offer amendments to increase state legislation
involvement in the decision to choose block grants over the federal
Dole's bill cuts the child nutrition programs by over $2 billion over
years. Most of the cuts are reductions in reimbursement rates for
who pay full price for school to provide child care under any
Among the expected amendments: reduction of federal funding if a state
not maintain its current level of welfare spending, and additional
for child care.
Ed Bolen, CFPA
We urge you to contact the White House, 202-456-1414, to express your
opposition to any legislation that contains the following components.
Block Grants: Block grant proposals, for AFDC as well as Food Stamps,
remove the entitlement status of these programs which is a guarantee
those that fulfill all eligibility requirements would receive aid. In
current proposed legislation, people who need help may not get it
state could simply run out of money. Without entitlements, a state
local plant closure or natural disaster would result in more need for
assistance without any guarantees.
Loss of funding: All proposals include deep cuts to nutrition and cash
assistance programs, and remove a state maintenance of effort
that would allow states to cease funding AFDC and other programs.
Removal of Federal Standards: Especially for nutrition programs,
rules ensure equal access and program quality.
Time Limits for Aid: The five year time limit is arbitrary, doesn't
account individual situations and needs, and ignores the deeper need
training and child care.
Denial of Aid to Legal Immigrants: Denying benefits to recent
those that are unable to make it through the citizenship process is
discriminatory and based on the myth that immigrants are draining our
Child Exclusions: Denying aid to unmarried teenage mothers, children
women on assistance and cutting benefits until paternity of the
legally established unfairly punishes the children and struggling
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