Tag Archives: community connection

Transforming Livelihoods with Ceres Community Project

Change Food is excited to put a spotlight on another Change Food community member – the Ceres Community Project and its founder, Cathryn Couch. For the past eight years, Ceres Community Project has revolutionized meal delivery service for vulnerable and underserved communities by providing 100% organic, sustainably raised meals to low income people and families struggling, as well as a nutritional education program that alters longterm eating habits for the better.

In preparing over 100,000 meals each year, Ceres is making real change in Northern California and across the country. In using local teen volunteers and adult volunteer supervisors in their gardens and kitchens, Ceres involves the communities they serve in the food making process in the most intimate of ways — literally growing it from the ground up and preparing it. The teen volunteers take on a mature amount of responsibility in maintaining their garden and kitchen sites, including managing compost systems and pollinator habitats, seed saving, food safety, menu design, and cooking and serving meals, creating an ultimate garden-to-table experience.

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Teen volunteers tend to crops at a Ceres Community Project garden, beginning the farm-to-table experience.

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A Make-Over for the Food Drive

by Brittney Edwards for Change Food                                                                                            September 2, 2015

August 15 2015 - Ralston Farm and other 256This month’s community connection in the Change Food network is Pat O’Neil, founder and CEO of Amp Your Good. Pat grew up in a small family restaurant business which doubled as their rural community’s informal soup kitchen.  His childhood lesson of the importance of getting high quality food to those facing tough times led to his development of Amp Your Good and crowd-feeding.

In celebration of Food Day 2015, Pat and Amp Your Good decided to give the tired, old food drive of canned and boxed donations a make-over.  Amp Your Good’s unique approach has reinvented this service from being strictly limited to non-perishable foods, into a food drive that accommodates and celebrates real food, calling it the REAL Food drive Campaign.

This campaign allows organizations to hold food drives that raise REAL Food as donations – fruits and vegetables, locally grown produce, whole meals, and other healthy foods. Organizations can set up and run their food drives directly through Amp Your Good’s crowd feeding website. Here people can purchase food to donate to their chosen organization, and Amp Your Good will deliver the food donations directly to the food pantry, shelter or soup kitchen the food drive is supporting. The method is simple for organizations and donors, while also enormously increasing the usual reach of food drives.

The implications of this new food drive go far beyond supporting food access and healthy food. Organizations hosting a REAL food drive will also know the food they’re donating is organic, locally grown, restaurant quality and other types of REAL food. The consequence of this is the REAL Food Drive supports other causes within the food movement, such as local farming, reducing food waste, and protecting the environment.

The REAL Food Drive Campaign will last from September 15th to November 25th with Food Day (October 24th) in the middle, giving everyone in the food movement a chance to share their love of food with those who need it most. To help spread the word and get more info, you can visit www.RealFoodDrive.org.
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