Farmland, Food Access, and Community Outreach at Good Hope Farm

Year Complete: 2019
Grant Amount: $25,000
Local Government: City of Cary, NC
Local Foundation: Triangle Community Foundation

Project Purpose

Supporting equitable access to farmland for minority and women farmers and access to food for low-income residents through SNAP EBT, and a double bucks program.

Key Lessons Learned
  • Being aware of project partnership opportunities is important. There are many opportunities for collaboration with multiple organizations, and more opportunities to leverage funding through public-private partnerships.
  • Submitting an application for SNAP/EBT certification is difficult, and documentation is more difficult for local governments than it is for nonprofit partners.
  • There are additional difficulties in setting up a market at the same time as trying to add on SNAP/EBT capabilities. Managing a market is a time-consuming process, where the manager has many things to learn about the customers. Working through the SNAP/EBT bureaucracy during this time of transition can be difficult.
  • The town’s Sustainability Manager prioritized relationship building by sitting down and talking about the project with the leadership from the foundation. At the earliest possible stage of the project, co-create a shared vision.
  • On a large-scale level, the Town of Cary has identified an overt goal of carbon reeducation through a citizen driven report developed by the Town’s Environmental Advisory Board that specifically points to the valuable role that sustainable agriculture plays in carbon reduction. With Good Hope Farm’s commitment to sustainable agriculture practices and education while also being the Town’s primary urban agriculture project, there continues to be opportunities for collaborations and relationship building.
Additional Information and Resources

The work at Good Hope Farm continues.  There are now three women farmers and one farmer of color, with one additional farmer of color who has been accepted for 2020. The scholarship through this grant has been helpful for first-year farmers in reducing their capital barriers to success. Subsidized CSA boxes have supported bringing fresh local vegetables to people in the community who are most in need. Educational outreach has connected children with less access to healthy food and environmental education to quality programs at their home or school.

Currently, the farm is partnering with the Town of Cary, NC’s Dreamfest Food Drive to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by supporting food security in the community through donations to the Dorcas Ministries food pantry.