ATLANTA, Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The James M. Cox Foundation announced today a $1,090,000 grant to the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) to establish and incubate Food Well Alliance. The new organization will expand access to locally-grown food and connect stakeholders with common goals to build healthier, sustainable communities.
"The Atlanta Community Food Bank has a reputation for building successful partnerships to address complex problems," said Jamie Kennedy, trustee of the Cox Foundation and great-grandson of company founder James M. Cox. "This grant establishes Food Well Alliance in partnership with Atlanta Community Food Bank and provides the resources and leadership needed to bolster the local food movement and community gardening in Atlanta."
The ACFB has developed long-standing relationships with local food growers through its Community Gardens program and its Plant a Row for the Hungry Campaign, an initiative that involves converting abandoned, vacant lots to gardens and distributing harvested produce to ACFB partner agencies. Food Well Alliance will build upon these relationships and programs by promoting education, fostering collaboration and innovation and providing grant funding for local food initiatives.
"Food Well Alliance has the privilege and responsibility to support our community organizers, educators and local food entrepreneurs aspiring to build a healthy local food movement," said Food Well Alliance Executive Director Bobbi de Winter. "We hope to enhance these connections in such a way that it connects people not just to their food, but also to each other. Our focus and work will build on the work of great individuals and organizations that work tirelessly to nurture a more vibrant local food system. We are grateful to the James M. Cox Foundation for their confidence in us and look forward to growing a long-term partnership."
Two initial grant opportunities, a Community and Education Garden Grant and a Local Food Grant, are being offered for projects that enhance food security, promote physical activity, improve access to locally-grown food and conserve the local landscape. Information about the grants and downloadable applications can be found at www.foodwellalliance.org. Applications are due in mid-February.
"This is a very exciting development for the food bank, as well as the Atlanta area," said Bill Bolling, executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. "It builds on our community partnerships and provides a place for those working within the local food movement to collaborate and share best practices, and offers a way for those who are interested in this movement to easily get involved."
Cox is a long-time ACFB partner through its AutoTrader.com company. AutoTrader.com has collected and donated nearly 65,000 pounds of food to the ACFB through its annual "Drive Away Hunger" campaign.
About the James M. Cox Foundation
The James M. Cox Foundation is named in honor of Cox Enterprises' founder and provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where the company operates. James M. Cox was Ohio's first three-term governor and the 1920 Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
The Foundation concentrates its community support in several areas, including: conservation and environment; early childhood education; empowering families and individuals for success; and health.
About the Atlanta Community Food Bank
The Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) began operating in 1979 from a small space at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. ACFB now distributes more than 50 million pounds of food and grocery products each year from a 129,600 square-foot facility in N.W. Atlanta. The product is accessed by 600 partner nonprofits that provide food assistance to families and individuals in 29 counties across metro Atlanta and north Georgia. ACFB leads seven distinct projects that reinforce its mission to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering our community: Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, Atlanta's Table, Community Gardens, Hunger 101, Hunger Walk/Run, Kids In Need and Product Rescue Center.
ACFB is a member of Feeding America, the national network of more than 200 food banks. For more information on the Food Bank, visit www.acfb.org, and for more information on Feeding America visit www.feedingamerica.org.
SOURCE Cox Enterprises