NEW YEAR, NEW GRANTS: INTRODUCING OUR 2016 GRANTEES
May 16, 2016 by Helaine Geismar Katz
2015 ushered in some amazing initiatives across the USA that helped keep food justice top of mind among politicians, journalists, business leaders, educators and the Hollywood community. 2015 saw the first-in-nation soda tax in Berkeley; minimum wage increases in 29 states, including NYC; and food waste fines implemented in Seattle, along with advances in food waste collection across the country. Also unprecedented, restaurateur Danny Meyer took steps to eliminate tipping in his NYC restaurants, in an effort to level the playing field among low-wage restaurant workers, and the former president of Trader Joe’s, Doug Rauch, opened a grocery store in Boston that sells healthy food at a deep discount—the catch being: it’s ugly and past its prime, but perfectly edible.
Ample Table for Everyone (ATE) is proud and humbled to be part of this extraordinary effort. Since 2013, ATE has read 165 applications and donated $127,500 to help nine organizations reach thousands of children, college students, single mothers and low-wage workers across the five boroughs with the tools, support and even the food they need to feed themselves and their families more thoughtfully, economically and sustainably.
“As we enter our third year of funding, we are beginning to see how ATE may be able to play a greater role in helping our grantees scale their initiatives to reach even greater numbers of food insecure individuals,” said Helaine Geismar Katz, ATE board president. “We are excited for what the future holds and to continue our journey thanks to the incredible support of our donors.”
We are thrilled to introduce our new 2016 grantees:
The Child Center of New York – Child and Family Nutrition Program
The Child Center of New York (The Child Center) is a 63-year-old multiservice organization serving 21,700 children each year at more than 60 locations, primarily in Queens, but also in Brooklyn, Manhattan and The Bronx. Its mission: To strengthen children and families with skills, opportunities, and emotional support to build healthy, successful lives. The Child Center offers innovative, research-based programs that guide and support children from birth to young adulthood in four program areas: 1) early childhood education, 2) behavioral health services, 3) child abuse prevention, and 4) child and youth development. The ATE-supported Child and Family Nutrition Program will help families with children under age three overcome major obstacles to food security and to foster healthy eating habits and preferences. Taking a whole-family approach, the Program will reach the 500 at risk-toddlers and their families served each year in four Early Head Start and Head Start programs. By focusing on the entire family unit, The Child Center aims to end generational cycles of malnutrition or overconsumption of unhealthy foods, and empower communities.
Lower East Side Girls Club – Make and Take: Healthy Fast Food in Fast Times
Since 1996 The Lower Eastside Girls Club (LESGC) has been providing innovative, community-based, holistic programs and services for girls and young women, ages 8-23, designed to help them grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world. The mission of LESGC is to break the cycle of local poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial and environmental leaders.
In 2013 the LESGC moved into a permanent Center for Community on Avenue D – 30,000 square feet of new state-of-the-art program space where mentoring, wellness, arts, academic support and career training programs share space with community programming, STEM initiatives, and environmental and social justice advocacy. The LESGC also runs several social venture businesses that offer job training and employment opportunities for teens and young mothers: The Art+Community Gallery, La Tiendita Fair Trade and Girl Made Gift Shop at the Essex Market, Celebrate Cafe, and the Sweet Things Bake Shop.
With support from ATE, LESGC will launch Make and Take: Healthy Food in Fast Food Times, a culinary arts program, a health and wellness class, and a social event rolled into one. Through an engaging evening program that entertains and educates, ‘Make and Take’” aims to cultivate community among LES adult women while providing them with tools, materials, time and guidance to cook nutritious food for their families—for an entire week!
SeedCo – Food Cents
Founded in 1987, Seedco’s mission is to advance economic opportunity for people, businesses and communities in need. Seedco operates as an intermediary entity building the capacity of community-based organizations and as a direct service provider in its three core mission areas: (1) Workforce Development, focusing on long-term skill building, retention and advancement designed to improve employment outcomes for low-income individuals; (2) Work and Family Support, helping individuals build assets and move towards economic self-sufficiency; and (3) Technical Assistance for nonprofits and government.
Thanks to a grant from ATE, Seedco is launching Food Cents, an enhancement to its benefits access work, utilizing its proprietary EarnBenefits® Online (EBO) tool to provide an estimated 400 food insecure households with the support and knowledge needed to budget for and access consistent, healthy meals for their families. Food Cents will also offer introductory resources around managing household finances, identifying affordable healthy foods and maximizing benefits. Seedco’s long-term goal is to build upon the knowledge gained through food-focused financial empowerment strategies to help low income families maintain access to healthy meals, while increasing their self-sufficiency and eventually reducing their need for public benefit assistance over time.
In 2015, ATE awarded grants to Kingsborough Community College for its Urban Farm Bring it Home program; McSilver Institute for Poverty and Policy Research, New York University Silver School of Social Work for its Family and Food Matters! program; NEBHDCO for its Head Start on Cooking initiative and The Sylvia Center for its Cooks for Health program.
Previously, ATE’s grant recipients included Corbin Hill Food Project and PS 84 PTA, which received a Silver in Excellence award from the Department of Education for its garden and nutrition education curriculum.
Our next grant cycle will begin in November 2016. Those wishing to learn more, donate and/or apply for a grant may visit ampletableforeveryone.org, or follow ATE’s activities on Twitter @ATENYC and Facebook.