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The Niles Foundation LA

#MicroFoodFarmGardens For LA Residents

Nonprofit

Our project transforms unused, vacant, and or distressed spaces around LA & South LA into green equitable, fresh food access spaces we call (MicroFoodFarmGardens). These FoodFarmGardens provide LA residents a healthier and more food secure way of accessing high-quality natural produce locally. With local food deserts rising, and declining access to affordable natural foods, it’s left Los Angelenos food insecure and without sustainable options. The Niles Foundation is changing the way we all live.



Describe the mission of your organization.

A California 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded to build equality for all. We organize our local community, provide education, support sustainable projects, and empower our citizens, especially those who are low-moderate income, underserved and underrepresented.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • South LA
  • South Bay

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

#1 The CDC’s “preventing chronic disease” study on The Food Environment in 3 Neighborhoods in South Los Angeles found that food access, availability, quality, and marketing practices in south LA are health, wellness, and food access problems, solutions exist. #2 According to the LA Almanac, West Los Angeles and El Segundo’s household income levels exceed or meet the median of 63k by almost 30%, while LA, South LA, and subdivisions like Inglewood at 29.3k-45.k per household income are 28-46%. Solutions CDC found that we the Niles Foundation have begun implementing, is converting LA’s corners and unhealthy food sources into food farms and food gardens. This helps to prevent chronic disease, increase food access, and food security, which USC’s Dornsiife’s recent study on LA residents and food insecurity shows that one in four individuals can’t afford to pay for food. We’re changing the narrative for South LA with food access and security, better air, and increased community equity.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

We’re creating MicroFoodFarmGarden Sites in LA & South LA where food deserts are increasing, transforming their rooftops, yards, lawns, unused, or vacant lots into local neighborhood food access and food secure spaces. Our program maintains our environments through preservation, support, and awareness by increasing our green spaces, and development for the County of Los Angeles. The education and research of pollinator species and plants, as well as herbs, have become essential to our site’s ecosystem balance and therapeutic purposes. Our program promotes healthy living through fresh food access, increasing food sovereignty, and addressing food desserts through project-based learning. We’re training members on how to grow their own food, and providing access to other sustainable quality food options. Our programs increase life skills through gardening, farming, and cooking have been integrated into training offered to families, as part of our program activities. We’re employing our local residents with good quality jobs and planting anti-smog trees for better air quality. In addition, it provides safe CDC standard guidelines for community engagement of all residents, volunteers, schools, and businesses, to become growers and trainers alongside families in our programs. All activities of this project increase individual and community equity while creating a more well-balanced option for the long-term wellness and health of LA and South LA residents.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

5,000
Direct impact
20,000
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

We’re creating MicroFoodFarmGarden Sites in LA & South LA where food deserts are increasing, transforming their rooftops, yards, lawns, unused, or vacant lots into local neighborhood food access and food secure spaces. We grow our seedlings with all-natural and harmful free pesticides. We conserve water by using water-conserving soils and recyclable natural and biodegradable materials. We’re increasing volunteer hours virtually and in-person CDC Covid-19 standards safely. We’re providing long-term sustainable solutions that can produce roughly 1000-10,000 lbs locally of fresh food per site, per year. We’re increasing the overall health of our residents, our living environments, and stimulating education, awareness, and economic development directly and indirectly. Our success feeds nearly three cities in South LA alone, for food security, tens of jobs are created for local food desert area residents, increased air quality for all, and more beautiful sustainable spaces.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

  1. Increased air quality of multiple South LA areas 2. Healthier Families 3. Awareness of the benefits of urban agriculture 4. Employment for local residents 5. CDC Safety Covid-19 followed guidelines for food distribution 6. Thousands of pounds of food produced. 7. Hundreds of families food secure per site. 8. Chemical Free Vegetation Locally Our long-term solutions produce roughly 1000-10,000 lbs of locally grown fresh food per site, per year. We’re increasing the overall health of our residents, living environments, stimulating education, awareness, and economic development directly and indirectly. Without continuous converted unused spaces, for sustainable fresh food, what will LA look like? We must build more food stable, food secure, food affordable, and food accessible neighborhoods because this is what our LA residents want.

Which of the live metrics will you impact?​

  • Access to healthy food
  • Food insecurity
  • Air quality

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to LEARN
  • LA is the best place to CREATE
  • LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

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