Funding food security

CCA awards $44,000 in food-security grants

Iyanah Blackshire (foreground) and Madison Rickert help Marie Dillon (at rear) plant vegetables during a recent garden work day at the Second Baptist Church.

Iyanah Blackshire (foreground) and Madison Rickert help Marie Dillon (at rear) plant vegetables during a recent garden work day at the Second Baptist Church.

Photo courtesy of cultivating community advocates

Food-security for the people
Back in January, I announced in this column that Cultivating Community Advocates (CCA), a sub-organization of Cultivating Community NV, was seeking applicants for its 2013 Food Security Competitive Grant Program. The program, as Sue Hilderbrand, CCA’s program coordinator, pointed out, awards mini-grants to chosen applicants as part of a larger Specialty Crop Block Grant from the California Department of Food & Agriculture.

Well, those grant awards have been made, Hilderbrand said in a recent CCA press release—to the tune of $44,000 in all. Five local nonprofit organizations were chosen, from 21 applicants, as recipients during the program’s first grant cycle:

Jarvis Gardens Senior Apartments, Chico: “Jarvis Gardens will establish a large garden, including fruit trees, to be used by its elderly population,” Hilderbrand said. “The building of the gardens will be done in a workshop-type format in order to teach residents and surrounding community members how to develop gardens.”

Second Baptist Church, Chico: “A large community garden will be built and used to provide fresh vegetables to participants, and educational workshops about growing, processing and canning will be offered to community and congregational members.”

Love Chapmantown Community Coalition, Chico: “A marketing director will work within the Chapmantown neighborhood to get more local participation in the [neighborhood’s] weekly farmers’ market. The marketing director will also help facilitate more farmers and local vendors in participating in the market.”

African American Family & Cultural Center, South Oroville: “AAFCC will expand the existing community garden and establish a vegetable stand to offer low-cost, fresh produce in the area’s ‘food desert.’ Workshops for processing fresh foods will also be offered to the community at no charge.”

Westside Domestic Violence Shelter, Glenn County: “A large garden will be built on-site, and the existing orchards will be tended in order to offer residents healthy food as well as providing educational workshops on cooking and processing food,” said Hilderbrand. “Residents of the shelter will be required to learn these skills as part of their residency.”

Hilderbrand points out that “the purpose of the CCA Food Security Competitive Grant program is to encourage food localization and to support food security within the Butte County farming area, and specifically within communities with historic barriers to access. …

“In the United States, more than one out of five children lives in a household with food insecurity, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 16.7 million children under 18 in the United States live in this condition—unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life.”

In September, the next CCA grant cycle will be announced, offering another $40,000 to $45,000, said Hilderbrand. Each award ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. All applications are welcome and awards will be made on a competitive basis using specific rating criteria. Stay tuned…

For more information, contact Hilderbrand at (602) 481-9506 or

“The average person is still under the aberrant delusion that food should be somebody else’s responsibility until I’m ready to eat it.”

— famous farmer Joel Salatin, on food security