St Petersburg, FL April 19, 2016 – “The Local Food Project is proud to participate in the 3rd annual Give Day Tampa Bay on May 3, 2016, and we’re encouraging everyone to support our efforts to connect people to nature and healthy food — we’re growing food, jobs and a healthier community,” commented Carol Smith, Executive Director of this nonprofit eco-agribusiness.
Give Day Tampa Bay is a 24-hour online giving event designed to increase philanthropy in the Tampa Bay area and raise awareness of the amazing work local nonprofits do in this community. This is the third year that the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has sponsored this event, raising $1.75 million for 550 Tampa Bay area nonprofits last year. In addition to increasing awareness of the participating nonprofits, Give Day Tampa Bay offers cash prizes to the participants with the most donations, another reason to give on May 3. All money donated on this day will stay in the Tampa Bay community.
As an example of how donations can help The Local Food Project: $5,000 buys everything needed to install a sustainable food forest on vacant land smaller than the average residential lot. These micro orchards are beautiful and productive. They provide years of healthy food and create local jobs, while benefiting the environment with cleaner soil, air and water. Donations of harvested fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs will go to community food pantries and kids at after school programs through partnerships with other nonprofits. The orchards create jobs for local residents who receive training to plant and maintain the orchards, process and distribute the food. There is a focus on hiring at-risk youths and ex-offenders and providing training to develop new career pathways for these individuals, who experience a higher rate of unemployment than other segments of the local population. Veterans seeking new business opportunities as they transition from service, and others looking for a change of career, can become food entrepreneurs through the organization’s food business incubator Co-op, working in niche urban agriculture markets including beekeeping, worm farming and aquaponics.
Over 107,000 people in Pinellas County live 100% below the Federal Poverty Line, and many suffer from diet-related diseases, like certain cancers, malnutrition, obesity and diabetes. They miss meals and fail to get proper nutrition on a regular basis because healthy food is inaccessible or unaffordable. Hungry kids fail to keep up in school and fall behind in life, contributing to a costly multi-generational cycle of poverty with enormous socioeconomic impact affecting the whole community.
Increasing access to affordable healthy food can help address these issues, and innovative urban agriculture is one of the ways cities and teams like The Local Food Project across the U.S. are creating successful community solutions.
“We’re excited to be participating in our first Give Day Tampa Bay event,” said Smith. “Your donations on May 3rd will help The Local Food Project increase healthy food access in high poverty neighborhoods, fighting hunger with locally grown fruits and vegetables which will directly impact people’s health and quality of life. As community food specialists, we create community gardens, regenerative food forest-style orchards and micro farms on unbuildable and under-utilized land throughout Pinellas County. We’re providing hands-on education to share the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, growing fun and meaningful jobs, and supporting food-based startups.”
To give during Give Day Tampa Bay, visit www.GiveDay.org on May 3, 2016 and locate The Local Food Project (Local Food Park Inc) in the list of participating organizations. All donations made are tax-deductible and will remain here in the Tampa Bay area! Contact Carol Smith, The Local Food Project, 727.804.0694 for further information, www.thelocalfoodproject.com, firstname.lastname@example.org