2021 RAPID RESPONSE MICROGRANTS
Food councils partner with community organizations: from short-term COVID relief projects to long-term infrastructure development
In response to the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Food Strategies offered another round of Rapid Response Grants of approximately $1000 per food council in our network to support immediate and long-term relief efforts. Applicants were asked to align their proposal with the drWorks Taking Action on Racial Equity Principles. Here are the 15 awardees of the 2021 Rapid Response Grants and the projects that they are pursuing in alignment with racial equity principles!
Alamance Food Collaborative ($1,200) will host their second Juneteenth event, creating food boxes celebrating Black history and distributing them in the North Park area of Burlington, NC. The funds will go toward purchasing food from Black farmers, paying Black chefs to create culturally relevant meals, and printing the food boxes. They hope to deepen their partnerships with local organizations such as the Black Entrepreneurs Collaborative, Mayco Bigelow Community Center, and African American Cultural Arts and History Center to achieve another successful Juneteenth event in their community.
Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council ($1,100) will support the construction of a food pantry by and for community members of the Deaverview Apartments Public Housing Development. The funds will be used to provide building supplies and compensation for community members to build the wooden, shelved food pantry that will serve their community.
Beaufort HEAL ($900) will work with local farmers to source produce for food boxes that will be distributed using contactless delivery to food insecure residents through their partnership with Cornerstone Church.
Carteret Food and Health Council ($1,000) will work with the North River Community Pantry and their partnerships with faith-based organizations, nonprofits, and North River residents to establish a food pantry in North River, which is a historically African American community outside of Beaufort. The funds will be used to pay for the food pantry’s costs, including supply and transportation of food from the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC.
Caswell County Local Foods Council ($900) will partner with two local food pantries to distribute $5 Farmers Market coupons to food insecure residents in the area. This partnership will allow them to reach more folks outside of their primary distribution at their farmers market.
Catawba County Food Council ($800) will restock the Catawba County Public Health’s small food pantry for their clients. Those who receive services from Public Health can access this food pantry. They support women, infants, and children, as well as SNAP recipients.
Davidson County Local Food Network ($1,250) will pursue existing and new partnerships to increase diverse community access to local food experiences around youth education, community farms and gardens, and farmers markets. These funds will go toward four initiatives that they partner with to: subsidize the Boys & Girls Club of Davidson field trips to local farms, create welcoming signage to promote SNAP EBT and Fresh Bucks at the market and in the community, expand the Thomasville Parks and Recreation Community Garden for educational use by communities, and provide a spanish interpreter for farm tour or farm-related workshops.
Island CultureZ ($1,000) is strategizing the expansion of their food council to increase the impact of their food systems advocacy in the community. The funds will support their intentional food council expansion through partnership development, social media presence, and strategic gatherings.
Just Foods Collaborative ($1,000) will continue to honor the rich history of Black farming and agriculture in Edgecombe County by providing equipment and supplies to 2-4 small farmers or community gardeners in marginalized communities that have been further harmed by the effects of COVID-19.
Orange County Food Council ($1,100) is supporting the development of a food access think tank that will examine and challenge the underlying causes of food insecurity, including through the lens of COVID-19, by centering the lived experiences of community members most impacted. The funds will go toward recruiting and compensating those community members to consult on the project, in an effort to counter the information extraction model, remove predominantly white organizations from making decisions on behalf of communities, and empower community members to facilitate the change they want to see.
Pitt County Farm and Food Council ($750) will support the work of a local organization that aims to create incentives around vaccinations in the African American community they serve. The funds will be used to offer vouchers for the Mobile Market that is parked by the Pitt County Public Health Department. This will hopefully increase the number of vaccinations in the community, as well as increase access to fresh produce from the Mobile Market.
Rowan Food and Farm Network ($1,000) will partner with Meals on Wheels and the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center to purchase and distribute locally sourced produce to the older adult community below the low-moderate income level at the senior center lunch sites.
Rutherford County Food Network ($1,000) will support a donation project that connects a farm and community garden with 16 food aid providers across the county. The funds will be used to provide packaging supplies for the farm and garden produce, which will be donated to the food aid providers. This effort improves access to local, fresh produce for communities experiencing food insecurity.
Watauga Food Council ($1,000) will continue to organize and facilitate community conversations and trainings on the topics of Food Access and Security, Local Food Promotions, and Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism work. The council currently consists of High Country community members, producers, and food system organizations and they hope to develop meaningful relationships to increase BIPOC representation on their council.