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Baton Roots Community Farm Awarded Grant from Capital Area United Way to Combat Food Insecurity in Baton Rouge

Baton Roots Community Farm is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded the Basic Needs grant from the Capital Area United Way to support the Baton Roots Urban Agriculture Program. This program is dedicated to addressing food insecurity in Baton Rouge, with a particular focus on individuals and families living at or below the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Threshold.

The Baton Roots Urban Agriculture Program aims to provide fresh, healthy, and locally grown produce to those in Baton Rouge who lack consistent access to nutritious food. Through this initiative, Baton Roots operates 11 garden sites on East Baton Rouge Housing Authority properties, three gardens at public high schools, and a 4-acre community farm at Howell Park. These sites not only supply fresh produce to local residents and students but also offer hands-on education and training to empower individuals and families to grow their own food, thereby improving their food security and nutrition.

“Our goal is to create a resilient community where everyone has access to the fresh, healthy food they need to thrive,” said Mitchell Provensal, Senior Program Coordinator of Baton Roots Community Farm. “This grant from the Capital Area United Way will enable us to expand our reach and enhance our impact, providing even more support to those who need it most.”

The Baton Roots Urban Agriculture Program is strategically designed to serve communities with the highest rates of food insecurity in the Capital Area, including zip codes 70805, 70807, 70811, 70812, and 70802. By partnering with local schools, churches, nonprofits, coalitions, and community centers, Baton Roots ensures that its services are accessible to those who need them the most. Additionally, the organization promotes its services through community outreach, social media, and its website.

Key components of the program funded by the grant include:

  1. Increased Program Delivery and Community Engagement: Baton Roots will enhance existing programs like Hustle and Grow, community gardens, and food preparation demonstrations. The organization will also seek alliances with groups that support re-entry programs and food access systems, such as SNAP.

  2. Increased Access to Fresh Produce: The grant will enable Baton Roots to produce and distribute more fresh and healthy produce throughout the Louisiana Capital Region, helping to alleviate food insecurity.

  3. Education and Training Opportunities: The grant will support the development of educational materials and workshops on gardening, healthy eating, and food preservation. It will also fund the hiring of additional staff to oversee these programs.

The impact of this grant will be substantial, allowing Baton Roots to:

  • Reduce food insecurity by increasing access to over 20,000 lbs of fresh produce annually.

  • Improve the health and well-being of food-insecure individuals and families through education and training.

  • Support the local economy by creating jobs and purchasing supplies from local vendors.

  • Foster a sense of community through shared gardening activities.

  • Promote environmental sustainability by encouraging organic gardening practices.

Baton Roots Community Farm is grateful to the Capital Area United Way for this generous grant, which will significantly enhance the organization’s ability to serve the Baton Rouge community.

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