What is a Mobile Produce Pantry?

Hello World U.P. Followers,

Did you know that Richmond is one of the nation’s leading cities for the number of grocery stores per capita? Did you also know that Richmond is one of the nation’s leading cities for the most food deserts? That means that we have the most number of grocery stores per person, and yet we have the most number of people who lack access to grocery stores. I’m not quite sure how that makes sense, but studies show that is the case in Richmond. It’s clear that we have an ACCESS problem in the RVA, and World U.P. wants to do something about it.

At this point, you may have seen some posts on our social media sites asking for donations to build a Mobile Produce Pantry, but you’re probably still not sure what the heck a Mobile Produce Pantry is. Well, it’s a food pantry on wheels that stores and transports fresh fruits and vegetables, parks next to existing food pantries, and distributes produce to the members of the community.  Backed by Feedmore, we believe that this solution will improve community access to produce in an efficient way.

Now, I bet you’re asking – What a minute, World U.P. is an organization trying to make cultural education and awareness affordable, what does that have to fruits and vegetables? That’s a really good question – thanks for asking. Our theory is that when you create secure and reliable food sources for communities, you ultimately create Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, & Healthy Perspectives.

Don’t believe me? Think about the last time you were HUNGRY. Maybe you skipped lunch or you forgot to make it to the store that day or you forgot your wallet at home (I’m perpetually guilty of that) so you couldn’t make it to your favorite food spot while you were out running errands. It’s about 3pm and you are just so HANGRY (Hungry + Angry) that you could think of nothing else but getting food, and everyone else was just in your way. There is nothing on your mind but getting home and getting something in your tummy! Your only focus is that you need food, and you need it NOW.

Now, picture that first bite. Oh sooo good. Who knew food could taste like heaven? Bite after bite, as you become satisfied, your hanger slowly dissipates, and life is good again. That guy who cut you off earlier? He was probably just in a rush to make it to his next meeting. Your kid accidentally got stuff on his BRAND NEW shirt? Meh, that is why Tide Sticks were invented. Everything is suddenly OK.

Now imagine that you got home and the fridge was empty, you had no car, and that you couldn’t get to a grocery store – because the closest one was over a mile away. Imagine that the closest thing was a convenience store that sells chips, soda, alcohol, and quick foods, and that’s all you had available to eat, day after day after day. Your hunger would probably never go away. You probably couldn’t think about anything other than where your next meal is coming from. Even if you did eat a snack, you would probably be angry that something better wasn’t closer. Afraid that you cannot feed your family.

Anger. Hunger. Insecurity. Fear. Concern. – These are all things that prevent us from thinking clearly and openly. They prevent us from being able to have perspective and peace.

So, we want to build a Mobile Produce Pantry to help people have secure access to healthy foods, and to highlight the need for long-term grocery solutions in the food deserts, so that people are not hungry.

This summer consider attending one of our fundraisers this summer or donating to help us build this thing. Help us get food into bellies, and grocery stores into communities that need them.

If you have any questions about the Pantry, you can email me at liz.dukette@worldupfoundaiton.org OR I will be hosting a “Ask Me Anything” on Facebook on July 27th from 7pm to 8pm. Like our Facebook page and subscribe to our feed, and tune in to ask me anything about the Mobile Produce Pantry project. The harder the question the better – I like a challenge.

Until next time friends,

Liz

Thank you to our 2017 Donors!

Hi Friends,

As many of you may have noticed, our Impact Report for 2017 was sent out to our e-mail list earlier this week. The fact that we even have “impacts” to report to everyone blows my mind! I won’t belabor our accomplishments from last year, because I’ve written about them over and over and the report will be available on our website (just as soon as I figure out how to do that). I am however going to call out a number of people here and now and thank them for their amazing support! Throughout 2017 the following amazing people and businesses provided their support and enabled us to give back to the Richmond community!

DONORS
Mandi Asbell
Nancy Blair
George Bourey
Kendra Butler
Jill Collins
Brookie Crawford
Linda Cummer
Joselito Diaz
Leigh Dillon
Eric Diton
Eli Drebin
Ellen Dukette
Jefferson Dukette
Kelly Flammia
Ashley Grant
Janice Hackett
Caasi Harris
Debbie and Jeff Hoch
Jessica Mawson
Lisa Newton
Audrey Peltz
Thomas Reichert
Christina Santini
Kayla Smith
Kevin Stacey II
Cody Symanietz
Sean Watson
Morgan Wright

DONATIONS OF GOODS
Kate Burns
Emily Dukette
Nikki Proffitt
Kourtney Smithson
Red Eye Cookie Company
Richmond SPCA
Carie Staley
Alexandra Vega

DONORS OF SERVICES & TIME
Kendra Butler, Community Building
Devon Charles, Website Development
Jamal Greene, Community Building
Mallory Premock, Summer Intern
Kourtney Smithson, Photography

Of course, last but not least, I really need to give a shout out to last year’s board who all donated money, goods, and time, but also moved us forward with their creative thought and action. Ashley, Alex, Nick, and Vic – thank you for believing in this mission, taking action, and questioning me. Without you, there would be no World U.P. and I would not have my sanity.

Peace, Love, & Understanding,

Liz

 

 

The Value of Money

Dear Friends,

Lately, I’ve been pondering the value of money. We recognize that there are so many wonderful causes for people to donate to and only so many dollars in your bank account. As such, I wanted to share a few ways in which you can support ANY organization you are passionate about without spending a dime.

1. Share your story!

Stories communicate passion and purpose. Non-profits love to know why you love what they do. Better yet- they can use your story to influence others to get involved or generate donations.

2. Volunteer!

This may be the most obvious, but a lot of non-profits operate on a volunteer basis. Any amount of time you can donate is highly valued. Odds are most organizations are happy to work with you to find a way for you to utilize your skills. Are You social media-obsessed? Offer to help with posts. Are you a writer?  Help write a grant. From organizing to painting, there’s always a way to help.

3. Become a Community Partner!

A lot of organizations share the same goals or have similar missions. If you’re involved in an organization but support others, find a creative way to work together! Often times organizations have programmatic dreams but lack resources. Think creatively – share space, networks, supplies, or marketing channels! If you’re a business, offer up space in exchange for a marketing/social media push – and find yourself some new customers.

4. Fundraise!

Most non-profits are heavily reliant on the donations from friends, family, and strangers.  Fundraising is no longer stuck in the past of door to door knocking or collecting pledges. A lot of organizations have options where you can create a personal fundraising page (peer-to-peer) that attaches directly to their website or are set up to collect donations on Facebook. Create a special fundraiser for your birthday, your next marathon, or just because. Set-up usually takes less than 10 minutes, and you can collect donations in minutes with little work.

5. Pass on the word!

Word of mouth is stronger than money in a lot of cases. Tag them on your social media accounts. Like and share their pages. Tell your friends.

So those are my 5 “Free” ways to support an organization. If you have other ideas, please share in the comments below, or send me an email at liz.dukette@worldupfoundation.org. During March, we will be highlighting how you can use these ideas to support us, so be sure to follow us on Instagram (@world_up_) and like our page on Facebook (The World UP Foundation)! And of course, follow this blog to be notified of my musings on non-profit life.

Peace, Love, & Understanding

Liz

 

 

 

It’s almost here… #GivingTuesday

Good Evening, Friends!

I hope everyone had a joyous holiday weekend filled with love and laughter.

Tonight, at midnight, #GivingTuesday will begin! Tomorrow, millions of people will take a moment to give back to the world. Please join us  in celebrating this day of giving by supporting World U.P.’s mission to promote understanding and peace through the creation of cultural education experiences that are available to everyone and anyone.

One Gift can make a difference and impact the Richmond community and is one step closer to help us reach our goal! Donate on #GivingTuesday!

If you support our cause, but cannot give, please share our donation page and our social media accounts with friends and family!

Understanding & Peace,

Liz