Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Grants awarded to 25 organizations advancing food justice in Austin


The Food Justice Mini Grants program awarded $75,000 in grants to those leading transformative change in Austin's food system

To support communities in their efforts to grow, sell, and eat healthy food, the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability has awarded $3,000 grants to 25 organizations working to build food justice in Austin. First launched in 2020, the Food Justice Mini Grants program provides funding for projects and programs that help build transformational change around how food moves from the fields to our forks.

“I’m so inspired by the work being done in our community to create a more just and local food system,” said Lucia Athens, the City of Austin’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “When it comes to addressing food-related inequities, these organizations are leading the way.”

One such organization, Aleph Cookery, leads a community-supported grocery concept that redistributes food that may have otherwise been wasted. The group will use Food Justice Mini Grant funds for a “free fridge” project that supports the unhoused community near Republic Square. Free fridges are sites where neighbors can share food with others in need while preventing food from going to waste. “We are re-envisioning the community fridge effort in Austin as a space for neighbors to come together, address their concerns with food insecurity in their neighborhood, and feel a moment of relief from their hunger, malnutrition, or frustrations,” said Ariana Diaz, Aleph Cookery Founder and Lead Organizer.

Another organization, Kalpulli Texas Quetzalcoatl, plants fruit trees and further builds upon the indigenous community's knowledge of plant-based food options. They will use grant funds to host an event on native food systems. “As an indigenous-led organization, we understand clearly the effects of colonization on our spiritual traditions,” said Maribel Falcon, who runs Administrative Support for Kalpulli Texas Quetzalcoatl. “We believe that plants and food systems are integrated in this issue. Many of us remember how our grandparents used certain plants for certain ailments. Together we share this knowledge and reclaim these practices.”

In Summer 2023, organizations will report back on the full impact of their projects. The complete list of grant recipients includes:

For more information about the grant, visit austintexas.gov/fjmgLearn about last year’s grant recipients and their impact here.

About the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability

Austin’s Office of Sustainability works to ensure a thriving, equitable, and ecologically resilient community by providing leadership, influencing positive action through engagement, and creating measurable benefits for Austin. The office works to achieve net-zero community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, a healthy and just local food system, resource-efficient strategies for municipal operations, tangible projects that demonstrate sustainability, and a resilient and adaptive city. Find out more at www.austintexas.gov/sustainability.

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