In the U.S., over 23.5 million people live in food deserts, areas where food is neither affordable nor accessible. The Re:Farm program tackles this problem by growing food in the community, by the community, for the community. The Re:Farm program selects and partners with neighborhood men and women, and trains them to become Promotoras - resident leaders that engage families in growing food in household yards. Every garden is different depending on the yard and circumstances of each family, producing incredible harvests - in 2016, all Re:Farm's backyard gardens produced more than 55,000 pounds of organically grown produce!
Often, the people who know best about their own challenges are excluded from conversations and planning of the solutions. The Re:Unite program invests in the greatest resource of a neighborhood – its people. Re:Vision develops the space and resources for neighbors to transform their communities and generate solutions. The Re:Unite program trains resident community leaders called Promotoras. A Promotoras teaches nutrition courses, helps families cultivate gardens, and monitors the general well-being and health of the community.
Many low-income communities stay in poverty because they don't have a strong, local economy that they own. They commute long distances to their jobs, often part-time and low wage, with limited opportunities for growth. By shopping outside of their communities, goods and services leak out of their zip codes. Building on the foundation of the backyard gardens, and the network of Promotoras and community leaders, Re:Vision is supporting the growth of the Westwood Food Co-op as the heart of the Re:Own program. In addition, the Re:Own program trains Promotoras to advocate for, and assist families who are facing displacement due to housing market pressures.