The United States’ industrial-based food system does not give equal access to healthy, nourishing food. Jewish tradition, firmly rooted in texts from the Torah, sees a direct connection between social justice, sustainable agriculture, and a call to action by interfaith partners.
Hazon stands at the forefront of the New Jewish Food Movement, which incorporates multiple entries into the food justice movement through a Jewish lens. Hazon is expanding our impact on the entire Jewish sustainable food movement, bringing issues of affordability, labor practices, and access to healthy, sustainable food to the forefront of the consciousness of all who are working to improve our food systems.
As part of Hazon’s capacity-building efforts, supporting great people and projects in North America and Israel, Hazon is pleased to announce Mini Grant awards to five Bay Area non-profit organizations who participated in Hazon Bay Area’s Interfaith Food Justice Convening held in October 2013.
Thanks to the generous support of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Hazon Bay Area has allocated a total of $7500 to projects that seek to develop innovative approaches to increasing healthy food access while expanding opportunities for faith communities to engage with food justice advocacy, organizing, and education.
Food Justice Mini Grants Awarded in the San Francisco Bay Area:
Meals On Wheels of San Francisco (MOWSF) provides home delivered meals and support services for low income seniors throughout San Francisco. This project seeks to engage faith based groups in the mission of MOWSF by forming community partnerships in the south of Cesar Chavez Street neighborhoods in San Francisco. The project plan includes reaching out to 3 faith based organizations to explore ways to better serve home-bound, low‐income seniors who are in need of nourishment, interpersonal connections and safety assistance. MOWSF has a very active volunteer program. We hope our new faith‐based partners will join our volunteer efforts by serving as friendly visitors, grocery shoppers, household fix‐it assistants, and other roles so important in seniors aging safely, with dignity at home.
San Francisco’s Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels are home to over 19,000 residents, most of whom are low income, seniors, formerly homeless, couples, and families with children. The San Francisco Food Security Task Force will use the awarded funds to offer modest incentives ($5-$10 gift cards to a food retailer) to SRO residents who respond to an assessment survey and participate in focus groups. The combination of survey and focus groups will provide empirical data to help inform the San Francisco Board of Supervisors regarding specific strategic directions and policy recommendations to increase food security for SRO tenants.
The Freshest Cargo Mobile Farmers’ Market is an innovative approach to getting fresh, healthy and affordable food into low income communities where fresh produce can be hard to find. This project will engage the Contra Costa County interfaith community in targeted neighborhoods in a discussion of community food access needs and how Freshest Cargo can be a tool to help address those needs.
Welcome Ministry hopes to develop a mobile phone application called “Bay Area Interfaith Food Justice”, which will enable faith leaders and faithful people to learn about, participate in, and become a part of local food justice programs, special events, and community organizing opportunities; as well as enable faith leaders, social workers and individuals living in poverty to find the referral information they need to access hunger relief services. The app will be available on iTunes and Google Play for Android users.
The project will support the establishment of a food justice project with a deserving congregation in Sonoma County. The ISFC strengthens faith community work to impact the habits of consumers not through their pocketbooks, but from the perspective of religious values. Through facilitating a sharing of innovative models that highlight the connection between the food system and spirituality, faith leaders do not have to reinvent the wheel as they bring programs to their congregations.