Walmart Foundation is donating $1 million to sustainable farming non-profit Growing Power to fund the organization’s nationwide Regional Outreach Training Center programs.
Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Growing Power transforms urban communities by supporting people from diverse backgrounds and the environments in which they live through the development of Community Food Systems. Founder, CEO and farm owner Will Allen has become a nationally recognized thought leader and practitioner in the growing field of urban agriculture.
Allen said, “In rough times like today, everyone should have access to healthy and affordable food. What better way to obtain this food than growing it yourself or getting it from a local farmer?”
Growing Power’s vision of sustainable, community-centered urban farming can be seen at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm, which Growing Power has been running in the Cabrini-Green community on property purchased by the Fourth Presbyterian Church. Established in 2003, the community farm aims “to help facilitate a thriving diverse community and ensuring that present residents are not cast aside in this process of transformation” from low-income housing projects to mixed-income housing.
Walmart’s donation should go a long way in jumpstarting Growing Power’s vision of building a network of Regional Training Outreach Centers from the “ground-up.” These centers aim to provide education, training and technical assistance that in order to foster the development of sustainable food systems and create “green jobs” based on common equity, ecologically sound practices and food security “one community at a time,” according to Growing Power’s website.
Walmart Regional General Manager Mitch Cox said he hopes the retail giant’s donation can help Growing Power expand its local food initiatives program to support 20 communities in 15 states. The Growing Power grant represents a portion of the Walmart Foundation’s recent committment of $2 billion to combat hunger in the United States.