(March 2022) CFWNC recently approved two Food & Farming grants totaling $55,000 to Bounty & Soul and the Utopian Seed Project.
Bounty & Soul (BAS) received $25,000 to support Produce to the People™ and its Farmers Alliance, programs that address food, farms and health through a lens of equity and inclusion. Produce to the People™ remains BAS’s cornerstone program that distributes fresh, nourishing foods to people experiencing food insecurity. It currently distributes food through a bi-weekly drive-through market, food box delivery directly to those who experience barriers to accessing the drive-through markets, and a weekly pop-up market in Latinx neighborhoods. Its Farmers Alliance program includes 46 local farmers, growers and businesses that donate or sell BAS products for distribution. BAS works to have reciprocal relationships with the alliance partners and has prioritized sourcing culturally relevant foods from black, indigenous, and other farmers of color in WNC. BAS serves Buncombe, McDowell, Rutherford, Transylvania and Henderson counties.
The grant to Bounty & Soul was fully funded by the Bahnson-Armitage Fund, John and Janet Garrett Charitable Fund, Ero Fund and Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund.
The Utopian Seed Project (USP) focuses on supporting and developing a sustainable regional food and farming system and consists of three program areas, one of which is conducting regional crop and variety trials at its Experimental Farm in Leicester. It received $30,000 to outfit an on-farm greenhouse and for operating expenses. Once outfitted with the appropriate infrastructure, the greenhouse space will showcase innovations for growing food. The work includes rainwater catchment for irrigation; aquaponics to demonstrate low-tech, low-input indoor growing and aquaculture; solar pump and lights; a passive heated tropical area converting part of the greenhouse to a “hot house”; propagation area and nursery; and event and workshop space.
The Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund and Terrence Lee One Love Fund provided co-investment for this grant.