Grant Support 2023

Hawaii Foodbank

The leading hunger- relief organization in the state, Hawaii Foodbank places an emphasis on long-term food security for its residents. Partnering with local and mainland resources, their strength lies in dedicated partnerships and ever evolving problem solving and management. As with most post-pandemic programs, the need has continued to grow. Since restructuring, Hawaii Foodbank has placed priority in serving the community with consistent access to quality, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods. A grant was issued in 2023 to continue the efforts of maintaining local food source partners. Investing in the local community is first and foremost in the eyes of Hawaii Foodbank leadership. The best way to invigorate economies and support local farmers is investing in their goods and services. With grant funding, nearly 41,000 pounds of apple bananas, papaya, pineapple, cabbage, choy sum, long bean, long squash, peppers, and watermelon were purchased and distributed to residents of Oahu and Kauai. Reaching roughly 120,000 residents every month, Hawaii Foodbank represents a necessary constant in an otherwise ever-changing world.

Ponheary Ly – Access to School

Following the mantra that “education is the answer”, Ponheary Ly Foundation stresses the importance of providing access to education for everyone regardless of financial background and social status. As mandated by the Cambodian government, all prospective school students must supply their own uniforms and school supplies to attend school. Out of reach for many urban poor and farming village families, Ponheary Ly has programs in place to navigate these challenges and in turn has provided education access to roughly 3000 students annually for the past 18 years.  Continued grant support from Not Yet Foundation focuses on uniform distribution and securing all the necessary school supplies for the 3000 new and continuing students every year.  Priding themselves on not reinventing the wheel, Ponheary Ly Foundation utilizes an education system already in place and works tirelessly to supplement programs around it. Focus is placed on innovation, ingenuity, and access for all. An on-site visit to Cambodia was done in December 2023.

Ponheary Ly- Food Bank Program

Recognizing the overall humanitarian crisis due to the covid pandemic within Cambodia, Ponheary Ly Foundation instituted a food bank program intimately connected to education access. 2023 saw an expansion of this project which was completely funded with a NYF grant to provide 81 families with monthly food drops consisting of rice, eggs, noodles, vegetables, and sauces. Nearly 400 community members benefit directly from the food drop, of which over 120 are school aged, eligible children. In keeping with the ideals of eradicating poverty, not just placing a temporary unsustainable fix to it, Ponheary Ly Foundation requires that these eligible children enroll and stay in school for the duration of the food bank program. This ensures that not only are the families being given necessities to survive but that the children are receiving an education that will one day help to lift their families out of poverty. In addition to the food drops, grant funding also supported farming tools, seeds, and monthly site visits to each registered family so that they could continue to grow their own food and help support others thru subsistence farming. An on-site visit to Cambodia was done in December 2023.

Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center

Representing Whatcom County’s only year-round adaptive recreation horse riding program, Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center serves over 100 unique riders annually ranging in age from 4 to 74. Participants with physical, cognitive, developmental, sensory, and psychological disabilities are all welcome to engage in programs and services that the riding center has to offer. Northwest Therapeutic Riding is propelled with 100 volunteers, 2 full time employees and is one of only 260 programs world-wide that has maintained Premiere Accreditation from PATH International. Grant support for 2023 focused on the full sponsorship for 2 of the 6 horses in the NWTRC herd. Funding for the herd is crucial to the success of programming and represents the literal backbone of riding centers such as NWTRC. A site visit for horse introduction and lesson observation was done in February 2023.

Homage Senior Services

Supporting the needs of seniors within Snohomish County, specifically programs dedicated to food access, home repairs and transportation, Homage Senior Services reaches nearly 1800 unique clients over the year with their Meals on Wheels program. Grant funding in 2023 supported the fresh fruit and vegetable initiative which supplements the meals provided to low-income seniors. Seasonal produce accompanies meal deliveries weekly to nearly 750 clients who may not otherwise have access to healthy and nutritious options due to financial stresses, mobility issues, or other barriers. In eliminating obstacles for the senior community, Homage Senior Services ensures the safety and well-being of the community’s aging population. Access to nutritious options is vital to supporting the health of Snohomish County seniors and the delivery method of Meals on Wheels is a proven model to successfully execute such a program. An on-site MOW delivery day was done with team members in February 2023.

Bellingham Food Bank

A leader in national food insecurity program innovation, design and implementation, Bellingham Food Bank is the largest and most prominent food bank in the state of Washington. The Food Bank Fresh model is a nationally recognized and implemented economic model adopted by countless networks across the United States. Continued grant support for Food Bank Fresh in 2023 was designated for 16 local farms, 9 of which were completely funded with purchase agreements to help serve the nearly 5,000 monthly visitors to the food bank. Purchased crops included carrots, leeks, blueberries, strawberries, radishes, zucchini, cabbage, and cauliflower. Conscious of their ever-changing demographics and priding themselves on listening and reacting to client feedback, Bellingham Food bank has recently pushed to incorporate more Latinx owned farms and as a result more culturally appropriate produce into the Food Bank Fresh program. Initiatives such as this exemplify why Bellingham Food Bank continues to lead the nation in program development as it directly relates to clients’ needs. Volunteer hours during a food drop and produce assembly line production was done in April 2023.

Children of Vinh Son

Completely volunteer managed and executed, CVSO supplies food and living essentials to nearly 700 children across 6 orphanages in historically poor provinces in the central highlands region of Vietnam. A truly unique organization, CVSO has an extensive and undeniably strong team of volunteers on the ground in Vietnam helping to execute food drops and orphanage site visits. 99.9% of all funding goes directly to the children with a 2023 grant helping to supply food, milk, and hygienic necessities to the children. Additionally, an electric oven was installed at one of the orphanages with grant funding to help teach the children entrepreneurship, cooking skills, business acumen, and overall responsibility. Bread that the children make with the aid a tool like an electric oven creates a more efficient process for them to sell goods at the local market and develop life enriching skills. A site visit to Vietnam was conducted in July 2023.

Ho’Ola Farms

Begun as a program to assist veterans struggling with traumatic brain injuries and other adverse side-effects of combat, Ho’Ola farms has grown into an extensive network of agricultural awareness and training, intensive farming programs, veteran victory gardens, and a consumer product model that brings farm fresh produce from local farmers directly to the customer. 2023 grant funding continued to support the food incubator hub program along with increasing the longevity and feasibility of the statewide produce benefit issued by the government (DaBux).  With grant funding a main aggregation site in Hilo was outfitted with a walk-in cooler for centralized cold storage along with infrastructure upgrades to handle increased capacity of goods distribution. Additionally, a marketing campaign was established to introduce local produce to pre-school children and seniors thru the DaBux program. Sample market produce bags will be delivered weekly to these constituents with explanations on how to best utilize Ho’Ola Farms Farm to Car program with SNAP benefits and DaBux. The goal is to increase nutritious food access to vulnerable members of the communities in an efficient and deliberate manner. A site visit to Hilo was conducted in May 2023.