Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society – a social enterprise that uses gardens and programs as the catalysts for healthy eating, ecological stewardship, and community celebration – presented to SVP’s Investment Committee in February. Executive Director, Marc Schutzbank, with support from Lead Partner, Eric Cormier and former Co-Executive Director, Ilana Labow, highlighted Fresh Roots’ flavourful history from a collection of backyard gardens to offering community and youth programs in two schoolyard half-acre gardens. Fresh Roots’ appeal for financial and non-financial support from SVP centred around their Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership Program, with the goal to develop a third location and offer the program to youth with developmental disabilities. The Committee was impressed by Fresh Roots’ passion and business acumen and confidently approved $55,000 for their first-year grant.
Fresh Roots entered the opportunities funnel last year and immediately peaked several Partners interest. After Partners held an exploratory meeting and reported their strong potential to collaborate with SVP, a dedicated Partner team made up of Eric Cormier and Ken Rekrutiak worked steadily with Marc and Ilana to complete their business plan and prepare them for SVP’s financial investment.
Read more below for an overview of the specifics of SVP’s contributions to Fresh Roots. If you are interested in volunteering with this new Investee, now is the perfect time to get involved! Please contact Gina and she will put you in touch with their Lead Partner.
Amount Invested: $55,000, which includes generous Co-Funding from the BPS Wealth Management Group.
About: Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society (Fresh Roots) believes in the right for everyone to have access to healthy food, land and community. Using their two half-acre schoolyard gardens in south and east Vancouver as outdoor learning classrooms for students and the community, Fresh Roots reconnects people with the source of their food. As a social enterprise, they employ vulnerable youth in their Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership (SOYL) Program to grow and sell produce to the school community.
2016 Objective: Hire 50 vulnerable youth year-round to learn to grow, harvest, sell and cook their own food, serve 1,480 healthy meals to students, and earn $40,000 in food sales.
SVP’s funding will support:
- Long-term sustainability by growing their team, establishing a fundraising strategy and applying for charitably status
- Solidifying their SOYL Program and developing a third schoolyard market garden
- Strengthening their organizational structure via board development and a governance strategy
Fresh Roots is a new Investee and this is their first year of SVP funding.
Thanks to the following Partners for their contributions to Fresh Roots:
Eric Cormier – Lead Partner
Ken Rekrutiak – Lead Partner
BPS Wealth Management Group (SVP Partners Geoff Bertram, Tom Porteous, Eric Southam) – Co-Funding