The third annual Good Food Org Guide identifies and celebrates 1,000 U.S.-based groups including 11 from Kentucky who are cultivating a better food system
The James Beard Foundation (www.jamesbeard.org) and Food Tank (www.foodtank.com), along with a prestigious advisory group of more than 70 food system experts, developed the third annual Good Food Org Guide featuring 1000 food related organizations across the United States. 11 initiatives from Kentucky were chosenincluding: The Food Literacy Project, GleanKY, Kentucky Women in Agriculture, Louisville Grows, New Roots, Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training, Community Farm Alliance, Food Chain Lexington, Organic Association of Kentucky, Seed Capital KY, and Tallgrass Farm Foundation.
This definitive Guide highlights organizations that are doing exceptional and dedicated work in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in the areas of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice. At least 10 organizations were chosen from each of the 50 states so that wherever people live they can find nearby organizations working to cultivate a better food system.
The first annual Good Food Org Guide was released as the definitive guide to organizations—national and state-by-state—who are making an impact through their work. The second edition in 2015 introduced a brand-new online platform, and has been viewed and downloaded more than 150,000 times. The expanded 2016 Good Food Org Guide incorporates new initiatives from across the nation, and will be released at the 7th annual James Beard Food Conference in New York City on October 17-18, 2016.
”Working in collaboration with the James Beard Foundation, we are proud to bring the total number of listed organizations to the 1000 mark. It is a testament to the tremendous amount of growth and support we have seen in the ‘good food’ sector,” says Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank.
The vision and objective of this annual publication is to focus attention on the hundreds of organizations (listed in alphabetical order, not ranked) who work every day in fields, kitchens, classrooms, laboratories, businesses, town halls, and Congress to create a better food system. We’ve selected organizations and initiatives that spotlight efforts active in community building and engagement, advocacy, and service.
”The Good Food Org Guide continues to serve as a useful tool for individuals looking for opportunities to improve their local food system. The Guide’s user-friendly design makes it the go-to resource for identifying nearby organizations doing good work in the areas of food justice, hunger, and agriculture,” says Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation.
Distinguished experts, including past recipients of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award and food and agriculture leaders, collaborated to generate the list.
This year’s guide has grown in size and includes an in-depth online interactive mapping and search tool. The updated website (www.goodfoodorgguide.com) allows users to search by keyword, location, and category in order to explore the organizations that interest them. Every organization has its own unique profile page including contact information, description, logo, social media links, directions, and photos.
Included in the Guide are these 11 groups from Kentucky:
1. The Food Literacy Project
The Food Literacy Project strengthens the connection between the Louisville, Kentucky community and their food through farm-based experiential education programs on food and agriculture. They offer programs for schools, community groups, and educators to inspire new generations to build healthy relationships with food, farming, and the land.
GleanKY repurposes over 200,000 pounds of produce per year that would otherwise be wasted to support the hungry in central Kentucky communities. Saving fresh food from farmers' markets, farms, and groceries, the group delivers a continuous supply of donations to established food banks and free hot meal services. Since 2010, GleanKY has redistributed 1 million pounds of fresh produce.
3. Kentucky Women in Agriculture
Kentucky Women in Agriculture is a nonprofit organization that works to empower women working in food production and agriculture. The organization strives to promote fellowship among female agriculturalists while providing educational opportunities and preparing members for leadership roles.
4. Louisville Grows
Louisville Grow’s mission is to grow a just and sustainable community in Louisville, KY, through urban agriculture, urban forestry, and environmental education. Their programs include community gardens, Love Louisville Trees, the Seeds and Starts Garden Resource Program, and the Urban Growers Cooperative.
5. New Roots
New Roots, based out of Louisville, KY, believes that access to fresh food is a basic human right, and builds sustainable systems so everyone can have access to the farm fresh food we all need to be happy and healthy. New Roots main initiative—Fresh Stop Markets—pop up biweekly in churches, community centers and housing authorities. The food has been paid for in advance so farmers don’t face the same amount of risk as they do with a farmers’ market. There are 13 Markets in the State of Kentucky/southern Indiana. The organization describes a Fresh Stop Market as “a cross between a fruit and vegetable flash mob and a family reunion.” Families pool their cash and SNAP benefits to purchase farm-fresh food in large quantities from local farmers.
6. Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training
The Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) is a cooperative effort of local organic and biodynamic farms organized to enhance educational opportunities for farm apprentices. The alliance sponsors apprentices on farms that participate in the CRAFT program, experience a diversity of successful farm models, and join a community of fellow apprentices and farmers.
7. Community Farm Alliance
Community Farm Alliance is a grassroots membership organization which works throughout the commonwealth of Kentucky to protect and promote family farms and rural communities. The organization focuses on leadership development, food and farm policy, and a variety of programming in which they pilot innovative, member-derived solutions to larger agricultural challenges. Their 2016 successes include a Farmers Market Support Program, Eastern Kentucky Food System development, and the Appalachian Food Story Project which documents the food traditions of their unique mountain communities.
8. Food Chain Lexington
FoodChain reconnects people with their food by providing education and demonstration of sustainable, indoor food production. They do this by providing education and demonstration of innovative, sustainable food production inside of an old bread factory in downtown Lexington, KY. This facility operates the state’s only indoor aquaponics system, where they’ve grown over a ton of leafy greens and a thousand pounds of tilapia, while using only 5 percent of the water of conventional farming. They use spent grain from the neighboring brewery to manufacture their fish feed and sell their harvested food to a restaurant whose kitchen door opens into the indoor farm. They host hundreds of tours every year for school children, workplace outings, out-of-town visitors, and senior groups.
9. Organic Association of Kentucky
OAK works to improve the health of people and the environment by educating and providing resources for farmers and consumers interested in driving change to a more sustainable food system. OAK's more than 300 members work together to: promote Kentucky's farms, farmers, and food; encourage consumer understanding of improving health by eating sustainably-grown food; provide resources to farmers so they can move along a continuum of sustainable practices; guide research programs related to organic agriculture; and develop strong collaborations throughout the state and world to spread research-based knowledge of organic production and consumption.
10. Seed Capital KY
Seed Capital KY supports regional farmers through technical assistance and capital support to increase their capacity to grow their businesses, increase sustainability, or otherwise play a larger or more meaningful role in the food economy. As the nonprofit developer of the West Louisville FoodPort--a $35+ million project that transforms a 24-acre abandoned brownfield by building infrastructure to locate food-related businesses in one place where they can buy food from local farmers and hire neighbors for jobs--Seed Capital KY fulfills its mission to expand the local food economy in Louisville.
11. Tallgrass Farm Foundation
Tallgrass Farm Foundation aims to preserve the agricultural heritage of Kentucky farmland by demonstrating sustainable agricultural methods and nurturing the local community through educational programs and public outreach both on and off the farm. Their programs offer complimentary cooking classes, demonstrating healthy food preparation and preserving from the Tallgrass gardens, and collaborate with public land management agencies to teach long-term stewardship of forests and trees.