The James M. Cox Foundation has given a $1,090,000 grant to the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) to establish and incubate Food Well Alliance, according to a media release. The new organization will expand access to locally-grown food and connect stakeholders with common goals to build healthier, sustainable communities.
“The Atlanta Community Food Bank has a reputation for building successful partnerships to address complex problems,” said Jamie Kennedy, trustee of the Cox Foundation and great-grandson of company founder James M. Cox. “This grant establishes Food Well Alliance in partnership with Atlanta Community Food Bank and provides the resources and leadership needed to bolster the local food movement and community gardening in Atlanta.”
The ACFB has developed long-standing relationships with local food growers through its Community Gardens program and its Plant a Row for the Hungry Campaign, an initiative that involves converting abandoned, vacant lots to gardens and distributing harvested produce to ACFB partner agencies. Food Well Alliance will build upon these relationships and programs by promoting education, fostering collaboration and innovation and providing grant funding for local food initiatives.
Two initial grant opportunities, a Community and Education Garden Grant and a Local Food Grant, are being offered for projects that enhance food security, promote physical activity, improve access to locally-grown food and conserve the local landscape. Information about the grants and downloadable applications can be found at foodwellalliance.org. Applications are due in mid-February.
“This is a very exciting development for the food bank, as well as the Atlanta area,” said Bill Bolling, executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “It builds on our community partnerships and provides a place for those working within the local food movement to collaborate and share best practices, and offers a way for those who are interested in this movement to easily get involved.”