In 2020, during the height of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it became very apparent that the consolidated food system was simply unable to meet the needs of our communities. Meanwhile, HEAL members were on the ground, rooting in relationships and responding to the failures of the system through mutual aid and more. Our communities are deserving of abundant resources to do this important work. HEAL redirected 10% of our annual budget toward member organizations, including establishing a “Rapid Response Fund” to support our members bringing critical care to their communities.
We allocated a portion of grant funds as well as all of the award money from a prize HEAL received (the Jean Mayer Prize that HEAL from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University) for the first round of funding to provide emergency grants to member and ally organizations to address needs related to COVID-19, climate chaos, or civil response to political conditions. In this first round, grants were offered in the range of $3,000-$8,000, depending on the number of applications received. To date, the Rapid Response fund has redistributed $40K to 10 food and farm justice organizations, and will continue to raise and distribute funding as needed.
Cover page photo credit: The Farmworker Association of Florida