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GroEdibles Blog

Dec 17

Our Better Angels and How to Support Them

Together, we can do anything

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world.
Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

There are so many ways you can help…with your time or donation. Just knowing that there are good people doing great things in your community can help inspire you. Here are just a few of HGEL’s favorite organizations:

Supporting Young Farmers

National Young Farmers Coalition: NYFC works for young farmers by strengthening their social networks, helping them hone their skills through the facilitation of peer-to-peer learning, and fighting for the policies that will keep them farming for a lifetime.

Beginning Farmers – “ is an effort to develop a comprehensive and up to date compilation of information resources for new, experienced, and potential farmers, as well as educators, activists, and policy makers interested in the development of new farm enterprises.”

The Greenhorns: “The Greenhorns is a grassroots non-profit organization made up of young farmers and many collaborators. Our mission is to recruit, promote and support the new generation of young farmers in this ample and able 21st century America.”

End Hunger/Food Security

Hover your cursor over the picture and click on the ‘info’ icon to view enlarged infographic

Feed the Children – Feed the Children exists to end childhood hunger. It’s the cause upon which we were founded 35 years ago and the one that we continue to fight for each and every day.  We know it takes the power of many to end childhood hunger for good. We connect donors, experts, partners, leaders and communities to attack the problem from all angles.  We are taking a stand and we will not rest until every child has enough to eat.

Feeding America – “Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity.  Our mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.”

Slow Food USA – “Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.”

Roots of Change – “Roots of Change was created with the intent of growing a network of diverse stakeholders united by the vision of healthy, affordable, safe, just and ecologically responsible food and agriculture in California by the year 2030.”

Food Gatherers -“Food Gatherers exists to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community by: reducing food waste through the rescue and distribution of food; coordinating with other hunger relief providers; educating the public about hunger; and developing new food resources.”

Create the Good- Fight Hunger – “Create The Good is where good people get connected to opportunities to make a positive impact.”

Community Food Security Coalition – “The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) is a North American coalition of diverse people and organizations working from the local to international levels to build community food security.”

Community Food Advocates – “Community Food Advocates is a new organization with a rich history and a big mission: to end hunger and create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system.”

California Food and Justice Coalition -“The California Food and Justice Coalition (CFJC) is a state-wide membership coalition that promotes the basic human right to healthy, affordable food while advancing social, agricultural, environmental and economic justice.”

Toronto YOUTH Food Policy Council – “As a group of food passionate youth, we will continue to create routes of agency for our peers within Toronto municipal food policy sector and become a hub for our City’s many young people who care about the future of their food supply.”

Growing Hope – “Growing Hope grew out of the efforts of the Perry Learning Garden (PLG), originally conceived in 1999 as a single school and neighborhood garden site. Growing Hope has been empowering local communities to grow and eat healthy food.”

Kitchen Gardeners International – “Kitchen Gardeners International is a 501c3 nonprofit community of over 20,000 people from 100 countries who are growing some of their own food and helping others to do the same, both near and far. Our mission is to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve greater levels of food self-reliance.”

The Wholesome Wave Foundation – “The mission of Wholesome Wave is to nourish neighborhoods by supporting increased production and access to healthy, fresh, and affordable locally grown food for the well-being of all.”

Detroit Black Community Food Security Network – “Detroit Black Community Food Security Network has worked tirelessly to raise our awareness about food, where it comes from, who controls it, and the role it plays in building healthy families and communities. We have created models of community self-determination and grassroots citizen engagement that have attracted national attention.”

Detroit Food Justice Task Force – “The Detroit Food Justice Task Force is a consortium of People of Color led organizations and allies that share a commitment to creating a food security plan for Detroit that is: sustainable; that provides healthy, affordable foods for all of the city’s people; that is based on best-practices and programs that work; and that is just and equitable in the distribution of food, jobs and profits.”

Freedom/Freedom Growers – “The Feedom-Freedom Growers of Detroit began in 2008 in order to address community needs and grow community institutions that were otherwise being dismissed. It started as a single garden bed, and has grown to large parcels of land, as well as within the hearts and minds of the Manistique community.”

Sustainable Economic Enterprises of LA (SEE-LA) – “The mission of SEE-LA is to promote and engage in self-sustaining community and economic development activities within the City of Los Angeles, including sustainable food systems, social and cultural progams, and economic revitalization projects such as the Hollywood Farmers Market (among many others) and The Farmer’s Kitchen.”

Any Foodbank! For a national listing by zipcode, click HERE.

Community Food Security Coalition – “The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) is a North American coalition of diverse people and organizations working from the local to international levels to build community food security.”

Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive – “CoFed is a new Berkeley-based, national training program and research institute empowering students to create ethically-sourced, cooperatively-run sustainable food storefronts and cafés on college campuses.”

Real Food Challenge – “Uniting students for just and sustainable food.”

The Food Project –  “Since 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture.”

The California Student Sustainability Coalition – “The California Student Sustainability Coalition unites, connects, supports, and empowers students from across California to transform their educational institutions and communities into models of ecological, economic, and social sustainability.”

City Harvest – “City Harvest is and always has been the New York City community’s response to hunger. We link the food industry and countless organizations, foundations, corporations and private citizens together to help feed their hungry neighbors. Each week we help feed more than 300,000 hungry men, women and children.”

Supporting School Gardens

Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program in Your County – These volunteers have been working to improve food security and education for decades.  MG’s have been an integral part of establishing and teaching in many school gardens all over the country. With deep budget cuts negatively effecting these programs in every state, your support is sorely needed!

“Seeds to Success” Youth Farmstands — Glassboro, Paulsboro & Woodbury (Rutgers University) – “Now in its 8th year, Seeds to Success combines year-round, in-school business training and lifeskills education with a paid summer work experience. From September through June, youth in Bankbridge Regional and Glassboro, Paulsboro and Woodbury High Schools receive training in a variety of work-related and health topics.”

Washington Youth Garden (National Arboretum) – “Using the garden cycle as a tool, the mission of the Washington Youth Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum (WYG) is to inspire children and families to engage in self-discovery, explore relationships with food and the natural world, and contribute to the health and well-being of their communities.”

Chez Panisse Foundation (Edible Schoolyard) – “We believe every child has a right to fresh, healthy food. And we believe public school is the best place to provide it. Like physical education programs—established forty years ago in response to a presidential commission concerned about the fitness of our nation’s youth—food education and access to fresh, healthy food must become part of the public school experience.”

Garden School Foundation (Los Angeles) – “A community partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District dedicated to bringing verdant traffic buffers, sports facilities, native gardens, science gardens, kitchen gardens, and teaching kitchens to public schools. Our founding members include chef Nancy Silverton, teacher Linda Slater, principal Grace Yoon, designer Karen Haas, United Neighborhood Council representative Marva Maxey, and La Brea Bakery. Our prototype is 24th Street Elementary School in central Los Angeles.”

California School Garden Network – “By encouraging and supporting a garden in every school, we create opportunities for our children to discover fresh food, make healthier food choices, and become better nourished.”

EnrichLA – “EnrichLA is a community wellness non-profit organization that builds edible gardens in local schools, focusing on low-income and underserved neighborhoods of Los Angeles.  Over the last two years, EnrichLA has installed gardens of all types in schools throughout Los Angeles County, from the West Side of Los Angeles, to the San Gabriel Valley.”

Supporting Organics, Locavore, Sustainable, Food Safety & Policy

Organic Consumers Association – “The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics.”

Organic Seed Alliance – “Seed is the foundation of our organic food system. Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) works nationally with farmers like Nash, as well as researchers, independent seed companies, and organic advocates, to create healthy, community-based seed systems.”

Pesticide Action Network International – “Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is a network of over 600 participating nongovernmental organizations, institutions and individuals in over 90 countries working to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives.”

ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: ” Your source for the latest in sustainable agriculture and organic farming news, publications and resource materials.”

Rodale Institute – “Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For over sixty-years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest options for people and the planet.”

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York – “NOFA NY, Inc is an organization of consumers, gardeners, and farmers working together to create a sustainable regional food system which is ecologically sound and economically viable.”

Cornucopia Institute – “Seeking economic justice for the family-scale farming community. Through research, advocacy, and economic development our goal is to empower farmers – partnered with consumers – in support of ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.”

Center for Food Safety – “The Center for Food Safety (CFS) is a non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy membership organization established in 1997 by its sister organization, International Center for Technology Assessment, for the purpose of challenging harmful food production technologies and promoting sustainable alternatives.”

Chef’s Collaborative – “Chefs collaborative is a national chef network that’s changing the sustainable food landscape using the power of connections, education and responsible buying decisions.”

Greener Partners –  “Greener Partners is contributing to the resurgence of farming activity within the Greater Philadelphia region. By reestablishing sustainable, organic farming operations, Greener Partners is impacting the way people think about their food and the environment.”

Animal/Environmental Welfare

The Gentle Barn – “Ellie and Jay Weiner see their 130 rescued farm animals as teachers, healers, friends and hero’s. Every animal at their place has been rescued from horrible abuse, neglect, and loneliness, and yet they have all survived using forgiveness, trust, love, and courage. We work with children from the inner city, group homes, mental health care facilities, foster homes, and schools to teach them that even though we are all different on the outside, on the inside we are all the same and are deserving of the same rights, respects and freedom.”

To find a farm animal shelter in your state, click HERE.

Nature Conservancy – “The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.”

National Wildlife Federation – “The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization. We work with more than 4 million members, partners and supporters in communities across the country to protect and restore wildlife habitat, confront global warming and connect with nature.” – “Grist has been dishing out environmental news and commentary with a wry twist since 1999 — which, to be frank, was way before most people cared about such things.”

Pollinator PartnershipThe Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Signature initiatives include the NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign), National Pollinator Week, and the Ecoregional Planting Guides.

The Xerces Society – The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.

What is so uplifting is how many of these groups are springing up all over the globe.  This small list includes organizations that HGEL has chosen to contribute to or has disseminated information from but doesn’t come close to listing all our worthy organizations. If you know of similar organizations that you’d like HGEL fans to know about, please list them in a comment here along with their website link.

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