Currently CFC offers three types of programming to schools, non-profit organizations, and communities throughout Richmond:
- biological farming
- urban agriculture education
- urban agriculture capacity building
The cornerstone of our mission is providing healthy food access through ecologically sustainable means to those most in need within our local community.
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Biological Farming – Although agriculture is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s top economic sector, its capital, Richmond, has been cited as the country’s largest food desert for a city of its size. Researchers and community members alike have long identified food insecurity as a catalyzing factor in community deterioration by contributing to poor health outcomes, economic isolation, poverty concentration, resident tensions, and urban decay. In response to several reports and plans produced by state health and planning agencies, CFC’s has developed its mission of address many of these social disparities by growing healthy, nutrient-dense food in an ecologically conscientious manner within communities of need.
Urban agriculture educational programming – The Community Food Collaborative pedagogy focuses on five areas of community development and public health promotion that are geared towards empowering urban youth and adults. A program framework that covers each of the five focus areas is adapted in scope in order to meet the respective age and context of each participant cohort:
- healthy lifestyles
- social justice
- sustainability and conservation
- leadership and mentorship
- social entrepreneurship
Urban agriculture capacity building – In areas of deep food insecurity where access to healthy food options is scarce or unaffordable, communities are increasingly looking to urban gardens and farms as a means of increased access to healthy, locally grown food. The capacity building program focus supports community members in meeting some of their own nutritional needs by leveraging in-house technical expertise with volunteer and mentor contributions to create new gardens, farms, and jobs.