The Specialty Food Foundation has awarded $250,000 in grants to support innovative organizations in 10 states that are working to address hunger and improve food recovery. These are the first grants to be made by the Foundation, which was established earlier this year by the Specialty Food Association.
The Foundation works to reduce hunger and increase food recovery efforts via grants, education, and industry events. It is an outgrowth of the social entrepreneurship and extensive efforts in the areas of anti-hunger put forth by many members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers, and entrepreneurs.
Among the first grant recipients are the Portland Fruit Tree Project in Portland, Oregon, which harvests and distributes fruit from urban fruit trees that would otherwise go to waste and Move for Hunger, Neptune, New Jersey, which mobilizes the relocation industry to reduce food waste by picking up unwanted food during the moving process to deliver to food banks.
The first 14 grant recipients are:
• Ceres Community Project, Sebastopol, California
• Farmer Foodshare, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
• Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia
• Food Forward, North Hollywood, California
• Food Runners, San Francisco, California
• Food Shift, Berkeley, California
• Move For Hunger, Neptune, New Jersey
• Operation Food Search, St Louis, Missouri
• Portland Fruit Tree Project, Portland, Oregon
• Rio Grande Food Project, Albuquerque, New Mexico
• Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, Lumberville, Pennsylvania
• Second Helpings, Indianapolis, Indiana
• Table to Table, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
• Tarrant Area Food Bank, Fort Worth, Texas
"With hunger a part of so many lives today, these organizations are playing a key role in addressing the problem in creative ways for the communities they serve. These first grants will help them refine and expand their important work," says Ron Tanner, vice president, philanthropy, government, and industry relations for the Specialty Food Association.
In 2015, the foundation plans to build on its efforts by awarding $400,000 in grants, and by presenting two special events, Embrace Hunger Relief Days, to encourage the specialty food community to volunteer for hunger relief organizations. Learn more at specialtyfoodfoundation.org.
The grant recipients will be honored at the President's Reception at theWinter Fancy Food Show, which takes place January 11–13, at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Owned and produced by the Specialty Food Association, it is the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty foods and beverages on the West Coast.
At the end of the show, exhibitors will continue their long tradition of donating the remaining food at their booths to anti-hunger organizations in the Bay Area.