with good food.”
The Renaissance Project puts fresh, affordable food within reach of vulnerable families by sponsoring mobile fresh markets and food banks at social service agencies and public housing facilities. In addition, we advocate for better food policies through the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee.
Ours is a systems approach to poverty alleviation, which includes multiple stakeholder participation. We leverage the existing client bases of our social service agency partners and collaborate with social service providers to fill gaps in services to low-income, at risk clients, our target population. Surveys and focus groups allow client input on systems design.”
In 2004, The Renaissance Project, Crescent City Peace Alliance and Saint Claude Avenue Merchants Association, via memorandum of understanding, created the Downtown Neighborhood Market Consortium in order to address food access challenges among low-income residents in New Orleans neighborhoods bordering St. Claude Avenue from Elysian Fields Avenue to the Orleans Parish-St. Bernard Parish line.
In the fall of 2006 Renaissance Project took the lead and opened two farmers markets, one in the Lower 9th Ward and a second one in the Upper 9th Ward. When the markets were unsuccessful in reaching our target population, we closed them, revisited our values and client needs, then started food banks and mobile markets that reach our clients where they live and/or receive other social services.
During focus groups with low-income seniors, we learned that for many of them, food dollars are exhausted by the second week of each month and making fresh food available for purchase was not enough. In order to supplement the available food in each household, the Renaissance Project became a member agency of Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana.
Thousands of eligible households in New Orleans are not enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank and the Leona Tate Foundation for Change, we coordinate (SNAP) outreach and enrollment at our service locations and community centers in New Orleans.
We launched the FRESH Air.Water.Food campaign to raise awareness and dollars to support direct benefits to low-income residents.
Five dollars ($5) of the net income from sales of FRESH Air.Water.Food t-shirts supports a $5 Secondline Bill, a local alternative currency, which is donated to a low-income household for purchase of fresh produce. The shirts are designed by a local graphic design firm, BigTada, and produced in New Orleans, by a minority-owned silkscreen company in support of our commitment to small and disadvantaged businesses and building the local economy.
Our goal is to sell 1 million t-shirts.
The Renaissance Project is a founding member of the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee, a broad coalition of community partners working to improve food access in New Orleans.