2020 Fennie Community Fund
Legal-name: Long Beach Local
Previous-name: Farm Lot 59
Address: 2714 California Ave
City: Long Beach
Officer-title: Executive Director
Mission: Incubating Urban Farming & Food Education from the ground up.
Budget: Revenues: $77,800.00; Expenses: $119,428.00
Grant-purpose: The purpose of this grant is to continue the Farm to Family Program, which provides farm fresh meals to residents at the Elizabeth Ann Seton Residence.
Total-cost: $2025.00 per week
How-many-individuals: Approximately 44 individuals per week
What-is-project: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Farm Lot 59 stepped up to help those in need through the Farm to Family Program (FFP). With the restaurant industry in turmoil, we designed FFP to make the best use of our harvest to meet the immediate needs of our community. Together with renowned chef Eugene Santiago of Baryo, we have served hundreds of nutrient-rich meals weekly to the most vulnerable population in Long Beach. We are providing meals for residents of the Elizabeth Anne Seton Residence (SH) operated by Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc. We share a common goal with SH to feed and nourish homeless individuals and families from crisis situations to stability, and ultimately self-sufficiency. Another community partner, Thunder Studios, assists with delivery of our complete meals that provide relief to SH staff who can then continue to do their work to support SH residents. Since 1983, SH has been offering emergency shelter to families, pregnant women, disabled and the elderly who are homeless. SH operates at capacity (44 individuals at a time, including about 20 children) with little recruitment since homelessness continues to be a serious problem in LA County, with over 82,000 homeless persons each night. SH offers private rooms, nutritious meals, laundry facilities, transportation, amongst other services. Case managers help clients achieve self-sufficiency and housing. Through collaboration with the Long Beach Multi-Service Center for the Homeless and on-site services at Century Villages at Cabrillo, childcare, healthcare, job opportunities, school placement for children, legal services, and applications for government benefits are available.
The mostly women and children at SH have not had farm fresh food in years. Farm Lot 59’s FFP is all about providing farm fresh, organic produce that is mostly inaccessible to this demographic. As a result of the way we appreciate and value the soil at the farm, we’re rewarded with vegetables, fruit and flowers that can be shared with the community.
How-will-you-succeed: As a nonprofit, we set our annual mission-critical goals and objectives, with our measured success by whether or not it achieved them. Our goals include number of volunteers, number of community members served, meals donated, pounds of produce grown, and number of dollars raised. We are actively seeking other sources of funding to sustain the Farm to Family Program, both through grants and individual donations.
Who-are-you: Farm Lot 59 benefits Long Beach by serving the community in a myriad of ways. Our working organic farm is an educational center that is used to foster inspiration and exploration into food and farming. We envision a world where all people have access to healthy food and value where it comes from. Farmers have the tools and knowledge to succeed on our farm or on their own. Teachers can incorporate edible education into their classroom. Chefs use farm to table principles promoting locally sourced ingredients, seasonality and direct purchasing. From the beginning we taught the importance of food production and the elimination of food miles. Since 2010, over 5,000 people have visited or attended an educational program at Farm Lot 59. Now we are a ten-year-old farm with a committed growing board and strong support from City leadership. We are building on that foundation to implement our vision, elevating our educational program to extend the reach of our edible education through teacher training and increased focus on advanced farmer training and the holistic approach to farming and efficiency. We value farming as a career choice and see its importance in the local economy. And, we believe access to healthy food is a right and understanding where your food comes from is empowering.
We’re working to change the future of food by proving that vacant property can be transformed into a sustainable urban farm scape. When farming on a small scale one can take pride in the land and show diversity in one’s ecosystem and restore the soil back to its healthier state. As a result of the way we appreciate and value the soil at the farm, we are rewarded with vegetables, fruit and flowers that we share with the community. You can taste the difference in what our farm produces, not only because it was grown locally with care, but also because it was harvested from the earth, which we nurtured.