Whole Cities Foundation Invests More Than $1 Million in Newark-Based Initiatives Over Six Years to Advance Community Health
NEWARK, N.J., April 19, 2022 /3BL Media/ — Whole Cities Foundation, a nonprofit broadening community access to fresh food and nutrition education, announced today that 11 community-led nonprofit organizations have been awarded up to $15,000 each through the Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant.
To help build a thriving local food system in Newark, Whole Cities Foundation launched the Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program in 2017 with help from its founder Whole Foods Market. The 2022 grants paired with additional project funding totals more than $150,000 and concludes a six-year commitment by the Foundation bringing its investment in Newark’s food access and community health initiatives to more than $1 million.
“I am in awe of the growth and impact of Newark’s urban agriculture and nutrition education community during the past six years. The momentum and drive of the leaders we work with is palpable,” said Dianna Purcell, Senior Grant Programs Manager at Whole Cities Foundation. “I can’t wait to see what Newarkers do next and am honored that so many have welcomed Whole Cities Foundation to play a small part in their big aspirations.”
Since 2017, the Foundation has awarded Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grants between $5,000 and $15,000 to 29 locally led organizations across all five of the city’s wards. The Foundation has also provided financial backing for various additional opportunities shaped by the goals and requests of its grant partners. Grantees have included community gardens, urban farms, farmers’ markets, mobile markets, healthy cooking classes, agriculture-skills development programs, a SNAP incentive project, and other initiatives advancing long-term healthy food access solutions and community health.
This year, the following 11 Newark organizations were awarded grants averaging more than $13,500 each.
Apiary in the Sky, LLC; City Green, Inc., Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc.; Giving One Tenth Community Garden; Greater Newark Conservancy; Ironbound Community Corporation; Kids In Business; Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District; Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc.; Project U.S.E.; and Rabbit Hole Farm Newark.
“Many of us community-led, grassroots organizations focusing on urban agriculture lived in the shadows of the more established nonprofits and had little to no funding support. It wasn't until Whole Cities Foundation recognized our talents along with the impact we were making, and decided to make an investment in Newark, New Jersey that the playing field started becoming level,” Tobias A. Fox, Founder-Managing Director, Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc, a six-time grantee. “They helped bring to life the Newark Community Food System, a network of over 20 local growers. They used their influence as funders to help strengthen collaborative partnerships amongst a wide range of community stakeholders.”
Whole Cities Foundation reviewed applications in conjunction with the Newark Community Advisory Council, a panel of engaged Newark leaders with an average of two decades each working and/or living in Newark. Projects are evaluated by their sustainability and alignment with the Foundation’s mission.
“As Whole Cities Foundation wraps up our current commitment and plans for what’s next, it’s important for us to continue being led by where the Newark community wants to go next. As always, we start with listening and seeking to understand, so we’ve begun conversations with community members. Our plans will be shaped by what they see as the most vital ways we can support their community’s growth,” said Purcell.
Whole Cities Foundation plans to launch their new three-year commitment to the Newark community in January 2023.
Since 2014, Whole Cities Foundation has partnered with more than 225 nonprofits across 130 cities in the U.S. and Canada to improve access to healthy food and nutrition education investing more than $3.3 million with local communities. The Foundation awards its annual Community First Grants, as well as supports deep community engagement through grants for healthy food access in five cities: Newark, N.J.; Detroit, Mich.; New Orleans, La.; Jackson, Miss.; and Greater Englewood, a neighborhood of Chicago, Ill.
For more information on Whole Cities Foundation’s Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program, including a list of past and current grant partners in Newark, visit wholecitiesfoundation.org/grants/newark-nj.
ABOUT WHOLE CITIES FOUNDATION
Whole Cities Foundation works alongside community-based organizations to improve neighborhood health through collaborative partnerships, nutrition education, and broader access to fresh, healthy food. Founded by Whole Foods Market in 2014, the independent, nonprofit organization is based in Austin, Texas and has partnered with more than 225 nonprofits across 130 cities in the U.S. and Canada to build thriving local food systems and improve health. Through vibrant grant programs, Whole Cities Foundation supports community gardens, urban farms, pop-up produce stands, agriculture skills development, farmers’ markets, mobile markets, healthy cooking classes and other community-directed initiatives. The Foundation’s signature medical nutrition program Let’s Talk Food is offered in Detroit, Newark, NJ and Chicago’s Greater Englewood neighborhood. For more information on the Foundation and its programs, visit wholecitiesfoundation.org. For ongoing news and updates, follow Whole Cities Foundation on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Nona Evans, Executive Director
Whole Cities Foundation