As part of its nutrition focus, the Foundation formed a Nutrition Cohort in 2014. The Cohort consisted of a group of 6 nonprofits and one research university working together to help address the challenges around nutrition. Through meetings and collaboration, the Cohort shared best practices, coordinated efforts, and brainstormed ideas for improving nutrition. Together these organizations worked to create greater impact than any of them could do alone.
“The benefits of being included in this group have far exceeded any expectations.” This enthusiastic feedback came from Oran Hesterman, President and CEO of Fair Food Network, a Cohort member.
A total of $4.5 million was allocated over 3 years, beginning in 2014, among the following organizations.
- Fair Food Network (Ann Arbor, MI) is expanding its Double Up Food Bucks program to improve access to fresh foods at grocery stores and farmers markets, while supporting local farmers.
- FoodCorps (New York, NY) is increasing the number of young leaders working with children to help them learn about, engage with, and gain access to healthy food.
- National Farm to School Network (Chicago, IL) is expanding services to high need areas such as tribal communities, childcare centers, food banks, and military bases.
- The Food Trust (Philadelphia, PA) is building internal capacity to operate new and continuing programs that increase access to healthy food in Philadelphia and surrounding communities.
- Wellness in the Schools (New York, NY) is growing its Cook for Kids program in New York City and surrounding communities, working in classrooms and cafeterias to inspire healthy eating.
- Wholesome Wave (Bridgeport, CT) is expanding its Double Value Coupon Program and Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program, while studying the impacts of these programs.
- The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University (Boston, MA) is providing research assistance to lend expertise in nutrition and evaluate the Cohort’s impact.
The Foundation has launched its second nutrition cohort, which will provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning amuong organizations working on fresh food access and nutrition education issues faced by Native American populations in the United States. On average, 40% to 50% of Native American children are overweight or obese by the time they turn 10, the highest prevalence of any racial/ethnic group and recent data suggests that 1 in 4 Native American households is food insecure. The Foundation is providing multi-year support to a group of 10 organizations working within these issue areas in Indian Country.
- American Indian Cancer Foundation (Minneapolis, MN) is expanding its Advancing Health Equity through Culturally Tailored Nutrition Strategies program to provide support for positive, sustainable, nutrition-related change.
- Center for Rural Affairs (Lyons, NE) is working with tribal communities in Nebraska to reach full food security and nutritious food in every household of the Omaha, Santee Sioux, Winnebago, and Ponca tribes.
- Dakota Rural Action (Brookings, SD) is working with local grassroots organizations on three South Dakota reservations (Rosebud, Yankton, and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) to share best practices and improve impacts.
- First Nations Development Institute (Longmont, CO) is helping local grassroots organizations to build capacity and sustainability while networking with one another for improved local food access and distribution.
- MoGro (Santa Fe, NM) a project at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, is establishing Tribal community food sites, working with Pueblo farms, and developing models for local farmers to access new markets and move toward locally-driven food security in Indian country.
- Painted Desert Demonstration Projects, Inc. (AKA Star School) (AKA Star School) (Flagstaff, AZ) is providing gardening and culinary education for students, using traditional Native foods, and coordinating greenhouse plots for families.
- Partnership with Native Americans (Addison, TX) is working to increase healthy cooking skills in tribal communities. Its mobile training unit will bring canning and cooking education to remote communities.
- Running Strong for Native American Youth (Alexandria, VA) offers a Medicine Root Gardening program on the Pine Ridge reservation, with classes and seasonal income opportunities for families and community members.
- Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (Porcupine, SD) is expanding the local food system, increasing access to local, healthy food options, and operating a demonstration farm on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
- Zuni Youth Enrichment Project (Zuni, NM) is creating a traditional garden, hoop house, and shaded areas adjacent to the Zuni River, improving food access via farmer’s markets and promotion of home and community gardens.