Everyone deserves access to healthy food, yet nearly 24 million Americans live in neighborhoods with limited options.
Our communities with barriers to healthy food also experience higher rates of diet-related illnesses. That’s why Whole Cities Foundation set out to make a change. We’re on a mission to improve community health by broadening access to healthy food and nutrition education.
Five years ago, Whole Cities Foundation began partnering with grassroots leaders in 5 cities to nourish all people, no matter their zip code.
We teamed up with farmers, gardeners, politicians, and educators in Detroit, New Orleans, Jackson, Newark and Englewood, a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. From listening first to the communities’ needs and strengths, we developed grant processes tailored to each city that support the work of local nonprofits.
Our goal? Nourish people and the planet in partnership with trailblazers in organic, sustainable practices.
Whole Cities piloted our first nationwide initiative, the Community First Grant Program, in 2016. Designed to support partnerships between Whole Foods Market Team Members and nonprofits, Team Members from across the U.S. applied and recommended community-led food access projects for funding. In our first year of opening the program, we scaled from 5 cities to over 30.
As of today, we have partnered with over 150 grassroots organizations in 90 cities from coast to coast, and we’ve invested over 1.5 million dollars in grants.
Now in 2019, for the first time, we will be building partnerships in Canada!
Together we are transforming vacant city lots into community vegetable gardens. We are retrofitting school buses into markets on wheels. We are restoring our connection to the land and food through gardening and healthy cooking classes.
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