Eastern North Philadelphia Food Buying Club (FBC)

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish (100 words):
At a community meeting held in May, alongside crime, the major concern was availability and cost of fresh food. Together we tackled the question, “how can we access the amount of food we need to maintain healthy lives without forgoing quality and still saving money?” During its inception, our solution looked like just another type of food sharing program. Since, it has evolved from simply providing families with better access to lower-cost, higher-quality food. Our group would like to extend its objectives by linking to other programs in our community that teach skills such as nutrition, household finance, and gardening.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $800 is your imaginary budget (50 words):
So far, the Eastern North Philadelphia FBC is mostly self-sustaining. Our current financial obstacles largely involve routine supplies used for community outreach, food pick up and order distribution. A STAKE Grant would help our group purchase hand trucks, a food scale and cover costs of gas and paper supplies.

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal) (100 words):
I am a city planter. I like to plant anything from food to ideas. I grew up in a very rural town outside of Lafayette, Louisiana. My family did not own a farm; we just always grew as much of our own food as we could. I came to Philadelphia for school in 2005 and liked it so much I stayed, adapting my homegrown skills to the city landscape. I am consistently reminded by my neighbors how limiting the local food supply chain can be. For that reason, I spend my time helping others better connect to and through food.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community? (100 words):
We are situated in lower eastern north Philadelphia, an area marked by poverty. On the most basic level, it is designated as a “food desert” due to the number and location of food sources. On a deeper level, this also refers to poor quality, variety and cost of food. Inconsistency and inadequacies in our local food chain has left residents with limited diets and long-term health problems. Exacerbating this situation are low income and education levels paired with high crime and dropout rates. The FBC is important because it provides a holistic and sustainable approach to all of these issues.