Here’s a list of past Cooperative Community Fund Grant recipients.
In alignment with our focus on racial equity, our 2020 Cooperative Community Fund Grant of $11,000 was awarded to First Fruits Farm, a charitable farm owned by former NFL player James Brown and his wife Tay. The Browns donate the first harvest of their crops to those in need in the communities surrounding the farm.
$1900 to PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro to continue and expand its “PORCH Cooks” educational program. PORCH Cooks aims to increase consumption of fresh foods by providing nutrition education and recipes to help families participating in the Food for Families (FFF) program.
$1700 to the Inter-Faith Council to support a new “member choice” model for the new Food Pantry. The grant funds will purchase convertible hand trucks to facilitate the efficient stocking of fresh food and grocery carts to provide a more dignified and convenient shopping experience.
$1500 to the Farm at Penny Lane to expand the Farm-to-Home Produce Pack program. The program provides boxes of fresh healthy produce to client-patients of the Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. Grant funds will pay construction costs to build a walk-in cold storage space.
$2000 to Chapel Hill Carrboro Meals on Wheels to outfit the expanded space at their new location to increase their ability to provide meals for their clients. They’ll purchase a large capacity freezer to freeze meals and heavy-duty storage shelves to hold shelf-stable meal options as well as emergency food and donated supplies and pet food.
$1900 to Frank Porter Graham Bilingue Elementary School’s “Garden Cooking & Education” program. The new program will provide students access to cooking lessons and preparation of healthy fruits and vegetables from the school’s community garden. The funds will purchase a mobile cart, equipment, tools, and supplies to bring more cooking and preparation lessons to the classrooms at the school.
$1000 to Orange Congregations in Mission to build a produce storage station. The storage station will provide efficient storage for the bulk produce donated when shoppers round up. The pantry has limited refrigerated space, so much of the produce donated does not require refrigeration, foods like potatoes and apples.
$1000 to the Container Gardening Program for Refugee Women piloted by Church World Service. The grant funds will provide gardening materials for a container vegetable gardening module that will empower participants to grow their own vegetables at home.
$1,850 to Transplanting Traditions Community Farm in Carrboro, to build a commercial vegetable processing station. Farmers will use the processing station to prepare vegetables to be marketed through a 135-member CSA and three local farmers markets. The station is a crucial piece of a three-acre expansion project that will enable existing farmers to expand their businesses and also allow new farmers to enter the program. This grant was funded through WSM wine show raffles, which were sponsored by Coastal Federal Credit Union.
$1,350 to expand PORCH Cooks educational program in Chapel Hill-Carrboro. Families in PORCH’s Food for Families program will receive copies of the award-winning cookbook Good and Cheap, Eat Well on $4/Day. The cookbook, which is available in English and Spanish, provides 152 recipes and teaches cooking skills for delicious, healthy meals on $4 per day, the amount provided by the SNAP/EBT program.
$1,130 for a weighing station for the food pantry at Orange Congregations in Mission (OCIM) in Hillsborough. The station, which will include a floor scale and ramp, will increase efficiency when receiving large donations and create a safer environment for OCIM’s volunteers. OCIM relies significantly of volunteers to receive and process donations and pack food orders. The weighing station makes the difficult parts of their job easier.
$1,000 for improvements to the Bilingue Elementary Garden at Frank Porter Graham in Carrboro. Improvements include a three-compartment composting system to improve the sustainability of the the garden and structural elements to make the space safe and inviting for the students and community guests, including six wooden benches placed throughout the garden and a picnic table for community lunches.
$900 for continued support of TABLE’s field trip program, TABLE On the Go. During the 2017–2018 school year the program will provide field trips for 80 of TABLE’s kids to visit Transplanting Traditions Community Farm and 1870 Farm. The funds will be used for SnackChef picnics and educational materials for the field trips.
$870 for improvements to increase sustainability of Hope Gardens in Chapel Hill. Improvements include repairs and maintenance of the existing fencing, a new spring seedling program, and an expansion of the beekeeping business. The improvements will increase the sustainability of the gardens and make it possible to expand the garden’s nutritious meal program, Hope Cooks, which provides a weekly meal for families at the Homestart women’s shelter.
$940 to Chapel Hill High School for renovations to its student garden beds. “The renovations to the existing outdoor garden space will make it easier and more rewarding for our students to plant and maintain the garden. We plan to have students grow vegetables in the garden that will be used in cooking classes, taken home by students, or donated to the Inter-Faith Council. By showing our students how to grow and use fresh organic vegetables, we are improving access to healthy foods in our community.” The project funds will be used to repair the 25 garden beds and to purchase high-quality soil and seeds.
$1000 to TABLE for the expansion of their field trip project—TABLE On the Go. This project builds upon the field trip project launched with last year’s grant funds. This year’s funds will support four field trips to the Carolina Campus Community Garden. “We will take approximately 25 students from four different community organizations and neighborhoods to the local garden. The students will tour the garden and participate in interactive activities. The garden provides a fun, new setting for students to learn about fresh produce and how community gardens function.” Students will participate in a number of hands-on gardening stations that teach them about harvesting sweet potatoes, composting, mulching beds with shredded leaves, weeding beds, and pollination. They will plant seeds in a pot to take home and grow.
$1860 to PORCH for the continuation and expansion of their nutritional education project—PORCH Cooks. “PORCH Cooks aims to increase healthy, fresh food consumption by ensuring families know how to prepare the fresh food they receive through the Food for Families program. With each month’s food bags, our families receive new recipe pages for their PORCH Cooks cookbooks along with the spices necessary for recipe preparation. Recipes are developed through collaboration between nutrition and culinary professionals, and are based on preferences expressed by the recipients in focus groups and surveys.” This year’s grant funds will be used to provide PORCH Cooks cookbooks for an additional 30 families and to provide new monthly recipes and healthy eating tips and guidelines to the families continuing from last year’s program.
$2,000 for PORCH’s proposed nutritional education project, PORCH Eats Fresh. The one-year pilot project will provide education on healthy eating and lessons for developing cooking skills for the families who participate in PORCH’s Food for Families program. Many of the participating families are not fully benefiting from the fresh food that they receive because they are unsure of how to prepare it. PORCH Eats Fresh will provide families with healthy recipes for the food included in their monthly delivery and will hold cooking demonstrations at the food pickup sites. The grant will purchase basic spices and herbs used in the recipes and pay for printing the recipes and assembling them into binders for easy use in the kitchen. A team of nutrition professionals will collaborate on the project to ensure that the recipes are appropriate for the families’ food preferences, which vary widely based on their cultural group.
$1,020 for TABLE’s proposed field trip project: TABLE On the Go. The field trips will be designed so that children served by TABLE’s programs have the opportunity to visit farms where local food is grown and to participate in educational classes offered on the farms. The grant will be used to fund two pilot field trips to Maple View Farms in Hillsborough. The field trips will start with a healthy picnic lunch presented by TABLE’s SnackChef volunteers, who will demonstrate how to prepare the food and then send home the recipes and ingredients for the kids to prepare the food at home. The field trip will include several of Maple View’s activities for children, such as visiting (and petting!) some of the animals who live on the farm and a fun hayride all across the farm. The kids will take two farm classes about how their food grows—an “All about the Dairy” class, which is especially significant since Maple View Farms donates fresh milk to these children through TABLE’s Weekend Backpack program, and an “All about Autumn” class, through which the children will learn about life cycle of apples and pumpkins and how they grow.
$750 to Hillsborough’s new charter school, The Expedition School, for materials to build raised gardens and a rain barrel irrigation system for its edible schoolyard. The gardens are an integral part of the school’s studies in sustainability and the environment and of its mission of providing a healthy eating culture. The gardens will provide hands-on learning experiences in sustainable agriculture practices, including the use of organic fertilizers, soil amendments, green manure, and water conservation as well as the safe harvesting and cooking of seasonal produce.
$700 to sponsor one day’s meals served by Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels to 140 elderly and home-bound members of the community. The volunteer-based organization provides a daily balanced meal and human connection for home-bound individuals unable to prepare meals for themselves. The organization provided 33,800 meals in 2013, and with rapid growth in the elderly population, it expects to serve 40,000 annually by 2015.
$700 to Orange County Partnership for Young Children to fund two workshops in its leadership development series for community gardens. Community gardens provide low-resource families with young children a place where they can grow their own food. The workshops address two ongoing challenges facing the gardens: garden management and sustainability. The hands-on workshops will address these challenges by providing the skills and tools the community gardeners need to take on the role of garden manager.
$550 to TABLE for educational materials to help sustain its growing SnackChef Program. Through SnackChef, TABLE volunteers prepare healthy after-school snacks for children from low-income families. The children learn how to prepare the snacks themselves. They are then sent home with the ingredients and a recipe so that they can teach family or friends how to make the healthy snack. TABLE will use the funds to develop and print recipes for healthy snacks and for lesson plans that include interactive activities about healthy eating.
Transplanting Traditions Community Farm, a project of Orange County Partnership for Young Children, received funds to train refugee youth working on the 3-acre educational farm. The farm provides agricultural growing space for 150 refugees, who were farmers in their native Burma. At the TTC Farm, families grow native North Carolina crops plus more than 20 crops native to Burma.
PTA at Grady A. Brown Elementary School received funds to install an already-purchased greenhouse that will provide hands-on experience for students learning about sustainable farming. These future gardeners and farmers learn about North Carolina crops and growing seasons, use organic and sustainable practices for crop rotation and pest control, and celebrate with community meals made from the healthy fresh fruit and vegetables they harvested.
TABLE received funds to launch its new Garden Initiative, through which the organization will grow a portion of the vegetables needed for its Weekend Meal Backpack Program. The Garden Initiative will be a community effort, with TABLE staff and volunteers working with McDougle Elementary School teachers and students to plant and maintain the crops. TABLE intends to use the gardens to help students and parents to develop healthy eating habits while gaining hands-on experience growing local produce.
Chestnut Ridge Camp shares with the community the produce it grows on its Community Farm through low-cost garden memberships and donations to food pantries. The group received funds to implement a holistic ecological approach to pest management called “farmscaping,” which will be implemented through a community workshop.
Farmer Foodshare received funds for chalkboard easels to display information at their Donation Stations at local farmers’ markets, where the organization collects cash and food donations that they distribute to people at risk for hunger in the Triangle area. Through this program, farmers and shoppers have donated over 100,000 pounds of fresh food, and the organization has purchased more than $24,000 of food from local farmers.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels received funds for its “Meals for the Homebound” program, which provided 33,000 nutritious hot meals and home visits for the elderly and disabled in 2013. The funds were requested to help offset the staggering rise in food costs and the large increase in requests for help.
Carrboro Parks Project is a public charity organization that works with local citizens and other organizations on fundraising projects to improve Carrboro’s parks and greenways. It received grant funds to help purchase a water catchment and storage solution for the community garden at Baldwin Park.
Community Nutrition Partnership collaborates with schools, community organizations, and other non-profits to increase access to healthy, local, and organic foods among lower-income communities. It received funds to support a special pilot program—a Veggie Van that brings affordable high-quality produce to low-income families in Orange County.
Orange County Partnership for Young Children and Carrboro Community Garden Coalition received grant funds to improve the irrigation system for their Growing Healthy Kids Community Garden, where each season 30 low-resource families benefit from the fresh food they are able to grow.
Sewage Sludge Action Network received grant funds to purchase a projector for screenings of their documentary film about the health and environment risks of toxic sewage sludge as a substitute for fertilizer.
Sustainable Alamance assists ex-offenders in becoming successful members of society by providing resources and skills needed to find meaningful work in the community. Sustainable Alamance purchased equipment for their community urban farm project, through which ex-offenders learn valuable farming skills and grow produce that is made available locally.
TABLE is a hunger relief organization comprised of college students and community volunteers committed to feeding hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. TABLE used its grant toward funding its TABLE for Two Mentoring program in which local food-insecure children and college students prepare healthy snacks together from fresh in-season ingredients.
The Community Lunch provides food assistance to the unemployed, culturally marginalized, and physically and mentally disabled in Chatham County. With its grant, the organization purchased a new refrigerator for storing larger quantities of food and ultimately providing service to an increasing number of guests.
The Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool provides a welcoming learning environment for students in Orange and Chatham counties. With its grant, the preschool developed its Healthy Children’s School Garden, which allows children to learn about sustainable agriculture and cook and share food with the greater community in need.
Sewage Sludge Action Network works to educate the public about the application of toxic sewage sludge as a substitute for fertilizer and the risks of this practice to public health and the environment. The organization used its grant to support an informational campaign that publicized its messages to farmers and the general public through a variety of publications and a direct mail campaign.
Student Action with Farmworkers seeks to bring students and farmworkers together to share resources and skills, improve conditions for farmworkers, and build diverse coalitions working for social change. SAF used its funds to support its “From the Ground Up” program, which attempts to build community and engage local supporters in fair food efforts.
Neighbor House is a collaborative effort among churches and civic groups with the goal of lessening hunger and malnutrition in Hillsborough and northern Orange County. The organization used its grant funds for its Food for All program, which provides hot, nutritious meals to anyone in need.
TABLE is a hunger relief organization comprised of college students and community volunteers committed to feeding hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Its grant funds were used to support its Weekend Backpack Program, which provides nutritious food for elementary school children at risk for hunger on weekends when federally funded public school breakfasts and lunches are unavailable.
Toxic Free North Carolina has been fighting pesticide pollution in North Carolina for over twenty years. It used its grant funds to support two projects: Just & Sustainable Agriculture, which works to increase access to locally grown organic food, and Toxic Free Kids, which seeks to reduce or eliminate pesticide use in public schools.
Chestnut Ridge Camp
NC Rural Communities Assistance Project
Haw River Assembly
Orange Community Housing and Land Trust
Anathoth Community Garden