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United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, General Mills Foundation funding 13 organizations to strengthen community's food system

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Thu, Apr 12th 2018 12:40 pm
Western New York selected for community food systems grant program to address food access and affordability, and improved economic opportunities in food-related business
The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has announced 13 organizations will receive grant funding from a $1 million commitment from the General Mills Foundation. The partnership aims to improve local community food security. It will support projects that address food access and affordability, and that help to increase employment, ownership and entrepreneurship opportunities related to food in high-need neighborhoods.
The recipients and their projects include: (organization name, funding amount, program name)
  • The African Heritage Food Cooperative, $70,000, East Buffalo Food Hub Initiative
  • Buffalo Go Green, $66,849, Bailey Green Greenhouse
  • Community Action Organization, $73,924, Mobile Food Market
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County, $64,736, Building Capacity to offer Community Supported Agriculture Cost-Offsets to Low-Income Consumers
  • F-BITES (Food Based Interventions Transforming Empowered Students), $84,000, Holistic Urban Development
  • Field & Fork Network, $36,508, Fresh Food Fellows Programing on the Eastside
  • The Food Policy Council of Buffalo & Erie County, $42,600, Building Capacity for a Stronger Regional Food System
  • Friends of the Broadway Market District, $60,000, The Broadway Market's Kitchen @ the Market
  • Grassroots Gardens, $54,712, Community-Led Food: Building Infrastructure for Cultivation, Entrepreneurship and Education
  • Healthy Corner Store Initiative, $118,720, Buffalo Healthy Corner Store Initiative
  • Massachusetts Avenue Project, $56,165, MAP Community Food Hub Project
  • Somali Bantu Community Organization of Western New York, $73,954, Somali Bantu Community Farm Expansion and Collaboration with Journey's End Refugee Services
  • Westminster Economic Development Initiative, $50,000, West Side Bazaar Expansion Initiative
This grant program is a new effort by UWBEC and General Mills to strengthen the community food system. This program advances the goal that everyone should have access to affordable, nutritious and culturally preferred foods, regardless of their ZIP code. Community input and design is at the heart of UWBEC's program, which supports community-led innovations and solutions to holistically advance community needs.
Projects were chosen based on their ability to meet one or both of two critical goals, including increasing access to and affordability of fresh and other food options that meet the economic, nutritional and cultural needs in high-need communities; and increasing participation in the local food economy through employment, ownership and entrepreneurship related to fresh and other food options that meet the economic, nutritional and cultural needs of communities.
UWBEC President and CEO Michael Weiner SAID, "We are thrilled with the support from the General Mills Foundation to improve food systems, policy and access in our community. These programs represent more than just making food available in high-need communities, but instead begin to address changing food systems, policies and culture that will help to create a more equitable system for all. We are delighted to play a part in helping these organizations further develop innovative and sustainable ideas to meet these challenges."
Louise Iverson, senior program manager for the General Mills Foundation, said, "At General Mills, our aim is to build and support food-secure communities. We are very proud to work in partnership with United Way of Buffalo & Erie County to reach our shared goal of increasing food security and food access by building a stronger food system in Buffalo."
The one-time investment will support up to two years of activity with the expectation the programs will be sustainable beyond that timeframe.

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