Sow, Grow, & Savor

The Local Food for All Project

March 26, 2024

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The Local Food for All Project

The Institute initiated Local Food for All/Comida Local para Todos in the summer of 2023 with tremendous support from The Christus Fund. The idea for this was generated based on feedback from partners and community members that many people struggling with food and nutrition challenges in low-income communities don’t know how or where to access better food. Nor do they know about nutrition access programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Access Program or Women and Infants or that they may be used to buy food at farmers’ markets. We hired Promotoras (people from the community who engage within the community to promote things which benefit the community) to set up tables at events, festivals, libraries, churches, and clinics to share this information in simple, respectful, and linguistically-appropriate forms. Our goal is to guide people to getting more available benefits and encourage them to use them to access better foods at Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, especially the Del Sur Market. In order to plant the seed of the message, the Promotoras handed out reusable shopping bags with printed materials and fresh, local food. People appreciated having the information and tasting the delicious foods.

Benefits of Local Food for All were getting delicious, fresh, local food to people who have limited access; helping people to get signed up for nutrition benefits programs; increasing knowledge about food access, and gaining feedback from people and partner organizations. We learned that Farmers’ Market times and places don’t work for everyone. This allows us to be responsive to community needs and develop more opportunities for engagement and to provide access to local, nutritious foods in 2024.

We are so thankful to United Way of North Central New Mexico for believing in our team to produce real change in our communities with Local Food for All/Comida Local para Todos and funding a portion of the project for the next three years. According to the United Way of North Central New Mexico Press Release:

“United Way of North Central New Mexico (UWNCNM) recently funded three-year grants in Santa Fe County, an investment in the community totaling $1.8 million. In a new initiative, Resilient Communities, United Way is partnering with local organizations that seek to improve community self-reliance. The funded projects will contribute to solving specific challenges that neighborhoods and communities face.

Bienvenidos Outreach, Earth Care New Mexico, Mother Nature Center, Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, Santa Fe Indigenous Center and Three Sisters Collective/Full Circle Farms will each receive $300,000 over three years to support program growth and explore alternative economies.” To read the full press release click here.

Thank you @unitedwayofncnm!