Urban Seeds is the lead organization for Nourish, Community Food Buying Club (CFBC). Thanks to a generous grant from Welborn Baptist Foundation, we are able to collaborate with several community partners to initiate this project with the goal of diminishing nutrient-insecurity in the Evansville area. The CFBC has two key strategies:
- To provide nutrient dense staple foods via an online shopping platform at prices that will be, on average, 40% lower than big-box shopping, and
- To facilitate an educational series that will empower families to cook nourishing and culturally familiar meals at home.
There is a delicate balance between the importance of filling empty bellies and that of embracing our moral obligation to fill those empty bellies with foods that nourish–as opposed to deplete–our health and well-being. Families living with nutrient-insecurity are often relegated to the lowest nutritional value foods due to the low cost of those foods. Unfortunately, those foods happen to be highly processed with additives and chemicals, some of which are linked to diminished learning capacity and behavior challenges in children, as well as being associated with chronic disease states later in life, such as obesity and diabetes.
The goal of the Nourish is to increase access to more of the high nutritional value foods, more whole in their nature and lower in processing, to truly nourish the children in our community so that they may grow into our next generation’s leaders. As important is our embrace of building trusting relationships with our members so that they will be responsive to resilience-building and restorative behavior change leading to regular family meals, cooked fresh.
Nourish will increase access to nourishing food for our members by providing nutrient-dense foods at wholesale prices.
- Members will use an online procurement platform to order perishable and non-perishable foods. Ordering will close on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 5 PM. Food items will be delivered to Trinity United Methodist Church at 216 SE Third St, Evansville IN 47713 on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month.
- Upon delivery by CRS OneSource, the food items will be aggregated into temperature-controlled bags and/or boxes per each family’s order.
- Tri-State Food Bank will pick up the family-specific ordered bags and boxes at 2 PM to deliver to our receiving sites – Ivy Tech and Dream Center, where members will then pick up their individual family order. (Addendum: with Covid, and the closure of both the Dream Center and Ivy Tech, groceries will be delivered to the front doorstep of our member’s homes)
- Nutrition classes and cooking demonstrations will be provided on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, to coincide with the ordering closure and rendering of payment for orders. Class attendance will be incentivized with points being awarded; these points will be redeemable for kitchen tools, with a quarterly drawing for more points providing the opportunity to redeem for small kitchen appliances such as a blender, insta-pot, pots, and pans. (Addendum: with Covid, in-person education classes and shared food tastings have stopped for now; online resources have been made available via our members only FaceBook page and in emails, as well as printed/included in grocery orders.) UPDATE: Partnering with the Nutrition Services and Dietetics program at USI, we will soon have specific videos for each of the class topics developed after careful focus group information gathering, made available on the Nourish YouTube platform.
- Following nutrition guidelines and SNAP staple food requirements, the following foods will be ordered in bulk and stored on site; shelves for the dried goods and refrigerator and freezer for the perishable items.
- Legumes & grains
- Pasta, bread, flour
- Fresh, frozen, and canned produce
- Meat, mostly frozen but some fresh
- Various dairy produce to include milk, yogurt, sour cream, butter
- Baking ingredients to include flour, sugar, yeast, corn meal
- Condiments & sauces
- Dried herbs & spices
- The Nourish program coordinator is a 12-hour a week position. The coordinator will be on site for the entirety of the 10 AM – 2 PM shift on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month
- Volunteers will be on site during the food aggregation days with no more that 5 adults present at any given time, under the supervision of the staff
- A ServSafe-certified Food Handler will be on site at all time during the delivery, sorting, and aggregation of food
- The site is not open to the public
- Welborn Baptist Foundation is providing the grant funding for Nourish
- Deaconess Health Care is providing the access to their food procurement wholesale pricing
- Trinity United Methodist Church is providing the kitchen space with required grease trap for food aggregation and storage
- Urban Seeds is the fiscal agent and will provide administrative oversight to all aspects of Nourish
- Tri-State Food Bank will pick up the aggregated food bags/boxes to deliver to two sites (Addendum: with Covid, this aspect is on hold for now)
- Purdue Extension is providing RD’s to teach some of the educational classes (Addendum: with Covid, this aspect is on hold for now)
- YMCA is providing use of their kitchen for some of the cooking demonstrations, and is providing child care for parents while they are in class (Addendum: with Covid, this aspect is on hold for now)
- Healthy Communities Partnership and the Promise Zone are acting in an Advisory Board capacity
Nourish is a collaborative community project, managed by Urban Seeds
5444 E. Indiana St., #353 Evansville, IN 47715