The number 1 requested resource from grassroots and community nonprofits is funding. Groups work on a shoestring, often underpaid (or unpaid!), and there is never enough funding for resources and supplies. Yet these are the groups that are creating real change in their community; that change filters up and has the potential to create a national movement.
Change Food believes that real, lasting change can only come from the ground up, from communities affected by an issue and by the people who are affected. Communities need to solve their own problems – local residents are the real experts; they have knowledge no outside group can have. These groups do not need to be dictated to by an outside group with money – they need to be funded and supported to create their own change.
Change Food proposes facilitating this by setting up a fund where anyone who donates $500 or more becomes part of a committee in order to grant funds and invest in smaller, effective groups with a successful track record in real need. The Fund would be used to pay living wages and to support resource acquisition.
In addition, Change Food would work to help these groups with marketing, social media, and would provide them a larger platform through Change Food’s events and work.
Examples of groups we’d like to help (these are NYC based but the fund and groups helped will be nationwide and possibly international in time):
- A Growing Culture ($22,000 raised in 2015)
- Green Bronx Machine ($164,000 raised in 2015)
- Harlem Grown ($179,000 raised in 2015)
- Just Food ($1 million raised in 2015)
These are effective groups who should be focused on program work, not their costant struggle with funding.
Compare their funding with that of other nonprofits, such as:
- Feeding America ($109 million raised in 2015)
- NRDC ($306 million raised in 2015)
- U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization ($2.6 billion budget in 2018)
- Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture ($50.7 million raised in 2015)
This disparity is large and growing. Change Food wants to help level the playing field within the nonprofit food sector by helping qualified groups get the resources and exposure needed – and warranted.
Any individual or representative from a company or collective who donates $500 or more in a year to the Fund will be given the opportunity to identify groups that need support as well as be part of the voting pool to decide which groups will be supported.
More details to come.