As I am based in Southern California I wanted to make you aware of 16 organizations in the area focused on food access, community gardening, food justice, local food system development, fighting food waste, and food education that you can support. I probably missed a number of organizations, so please post your organization’s info in the comments section below to add it to the list. Happy Giving!!!
1. L.A. Kitchen
L.A. Kitchen believes that neither food nor people should ever go to waste. By reclaiming healthy, local food that would otherwise be discarded, training men and women who are unemployed for jobs, and providing healthy meals to fellow citizens, L.A. Kitchen empowers, nourishes, and engages the community. Donate here!
2. Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC)
Our mission is to strengthen communities by building and supporting community gardens where every person in Los Angeles County can grow healthy food in their neighborhood. The Los Angeles Community Garden Council manages 40 community gardens and offers advice, workshops, and community organizing assistance to more than 125 community gardens in Los Angeles County, serving more than 6,000 families. Donate here!
3. Food Forward
Food Forward rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. The organization collects fresh fruits and vegetables that would normally go to waste from backyard fruit trees, public orchards, farmers markets, and the downtown Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. 100% of the produce we recover is donated to hunger relief agencies across 8 counties in Southern California. The food that Food Forward recovers reaches over 100,000 people a month across Southern California. Donate here!
4. LA Compost
L.A. Compost is a sustainable movement that promotes healthy, conscious communities. Our mission is to equip and empower people to facilitate their own green spaces. This is accomplished through programming that diverts food and yard waste from landfills to create compost, supports edible school gardens, and partners with communities to establish their own composting systems. Donate here!
Huerta Del Valle’s mission is to cultivate an organization of community members to grow our own organic crops. Through growing our food we work toward sustainable community empowerment and health: creating meaningful work, building lasting skills and developing strong relationships within the city of Ontario. “Growing change in the Inland Valley.” Donate here!
6. Los Angeles Food Policy Council
The Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC) is a collective impact initiative, working to make Southern California a Good Food region for everyone—where food is healthy, affordable, fair and sustainable. Through policy creation and cooperative relationships, our goals are to reduce hunger, improve public health, increase equity in our communities, create good jobs, stimulate local economic activity, and foster environmental stewardship. In particular, the LAFPC aims to connect environmental sustainability and local agriculture with efforts to expand access to healthy food in historically disenfranchised communities. Donate here!
The Growing Club, based in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles, gathers diverse individuals and communities together to nourish the common well being of people and our planet. Donate here!
At OC Food Access, we are developing innovative, community-based strategies to end hunger and deliver nutrition – not just calories – to the underserved in our community. The Coalition was founded in 2010 in response to a call for county-wide coordinated action among hunger, health and food systems stakeholders. Together we work to define the gaps in services and resources that prevent healthy food access, and ultimately help define and implement sustainable solutions to hunger. Donate here!
9. UC Cooperative Extension – Los Angeles County
Cooperative Extension’s mission is to develop and extend research-based information that solves problems and improves practices in agriculture and natural resources, promotes healthy eating habits to improve the lives of Californians, and fosters the development of California youth into contributing members of society. Donate here!
10. Farm Lot 59
Started in 2010 with the help of local residents and the City of Long Beach we built Farm Lot 59, a nonprofit, biodynamic farm located at 2714 California Ave, Long Beach CA 90755. We believe in the direct connection between farmer and consumer and the transparency needed to really understand our local food system. We understand our small farm will not be able to feed the 500,000 residents of this diverse city so we focus on teaching the next level of citizen farmers. Donate here!
11. LA Green Grounds
LA Green Grounds is a grassroots organization of volunteers dedicated to working with residents of South Los Angeles, California to convert their front lawns and parkways into edible landscapes and urban farms. Residents host a garden “Dig-in” when this work happens. Inviting family, friends, neighbors, and volunteers to participate, creates a sense of community. Everyone learns how to convert lawns into edible landscapes that encourage and inspire neighborhoods to” grow their own”. Donate here!
12. Kiss the Ground
Kiss The Ground works to restore soils worldwide by promoting and developing models that accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture. We create media, campaigns and educational curriculum that raise awareness and empower individuals to take action. Behind the scenes, we connect and work with a wide range of stakeholders – farmers, educators, brands, NGOs, scientists and policy makers – to advocate for regenerative agriculture and the restoration of healthy soil worldwide. Donate here!
13. Riverside Food Systems Alliance
Riverside Food Systems Alliance seeks to establish and grow a resilient and productive local food and agriculture system that provides a year round supply, supports community involvement, and enables profitable enterprises for farmers and allied businesses while providing for the needs of the community and the sustainable use of natural resources. Donate here!
The Garden School Foundation believes teaching in garden classrooms helps students to foster a relationship with the earth and their food, creating a healthier generation. Donate here!
Groceryships’ mission is to improve long-term health and wellness in low-income communities by creating a network of educational support groups and enhancing access to healthy, unprocessed foods. Groceryships is built on a fundamental belief—every life is equally important. In an unequal world, we exist to support people and families who feel forgotten, neglected, or are carrying more than they can bear. Donate here!
Out of a vision of a garden that serves students and the community, The Learning Garden blossoms into an outdoor learning center from what once was an underutilized, weedy portion of Venice High School. Hands-on education in horticulture, permaculture, herbology, botany, nutrition, art, photography, and environmental science flourish in this setting. The Learning Garden not only beautifies the community, but is a place of peace and serenity in an often turbulent, “concrete” world. The Learning Garden was launched in March of 2001. Since then it has quickly become one of the country’s largest and most successful school gardens. Donate here!