The mission of Shalom Farms is to work with communities to ensure access to healthy food and the support to live healthy lives.
Through sustainable food production and hands-on experiences at the farm and in the city, Shalom Farms provides thousands in Richmond with access to healthy food…and healthy lives.
Our 6-acre organic farm, located 35 miles west of Richmond in Goochland County, is both the source of this fresh local produce and a learning lab for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Though the farm experience is adjusted to meet the needs of each group, all visitors learn about sustainable agriculture, food access, connections between obesity and hunger, and the importance of eating healthy. Volunteers lend a hand in farm work, becoming agents of positive change in the area’s food system. Over 3,000 volunteers visit the farm annually, including residents of our partner communities and participants in our programs. In 2013, third-graders from 9 Richmond Public Elementary Schools, many of those located in our target neighborhoods, came to the farm to learn about soil and encounter food at its source.
Our novel Youth-Run Farm Stand (YRFS) program empowers youth through educational programming by developing hands-on, food-based entrepreneurship skills. Participants, ages 9-16, manage their own weekly pop-up Farm Stands selling fresh and affordable Shalom Farms produce to their neighbors in areas with low access to healthy food. Each week, activities engage students in learning about nutrition, cooking, gardening and food access. This curriculum, adapted from a national model developed by Michigan State University, invites youth to discover the meaning of good food – food that is good for our bodies, our environment, and our communities. A unique and effective model, YRFS meets the immediate needs of underserved communities by creating direct access points to affordable, healthy food, while simultaneously affecting lasting change through the education and empowerment of a new generation of food advocates. The program is entering its fourth year at the Neighborhood Resource Center and Reid Elementary School, and expanded in 2013 to include La Plaza Farmers Market, a new market located in a predominantly low-income Latino community.
In 2013, we piloted our Prescription Produce Plan in Creighton Court. This health program, implemented in collaboration with Bon Secours and the Creighton Court Resource Center, provided daily servings of fresh produce for twelve week cycles to over 120 residents. Participants from 27 households, facing a variety of health issues related to inadequate diet, checked in weekly with nurses at the Resource Center to track BMI and blood pressure and received a prescription for produce, filled at our farm stand. Monthly meetings provided a forum to discuss challenges, strategies and skills for healthy eating and cooking on a budget. This year we will continue to develop the program in the East End and plan to expand to the Southside.
Heavily reliant on volunteers, individuals groups, some of whom come once a week, once a year. Over 3,000 annually keep our farm working smoothly.
We are a small organization with a modest budget and overhead. Financial resources allow us to strengthen our programs and build our staff capacity. Financial contributions allow us to maximize your donations, but donations in whatever form are always greatly appreciated. Here is a list of some of our specific supply needs at the farm. 100% of individual contributions go straight to program costs.
100′ measuring tapes
18-Gallon Rubbermaid Plastic Storage Bins
20 and 40 lb. Bags of Organic Fertilizer (Southern States)
Organic Chicken Feed (found at Hertzler’s Feed Store in Powhatan and at Countryside Organics in Fishersville)
Fiskars Hand-held Pruners
Pitchforks (Lowes/Home Depot)
Grass clippings and leaves
Dominic Gibbons Barrett has been the Director of
United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond and Shalom Farms since
February of 2010. He currently serves on the Richmond Public Schools
Garden Task Force and chairs the enterprise development subcommittee of
the Mayors Food Policy Task Force. In 2010, Bread for the World recognized
Dominic as one of 75 "Hunger Justice Leaders" -- leaders under
30 from across the US identified as "the best and brightest young
advocates" on issues of hunger. In 2012 he joined the board of the
Virginia Food System Council as the Food Justice/Hunger representative and
works with the council to develop statewide strategies to improve the food
system in ways that benefit our most poor and marginalized communities.
Dominic draws from 3 years of experience running Youth, Families and
Schools programs at Palmetto Project, a statewide nonprofit and incubator
in Charleston, SC. He also worked as an Americorp VISTA with international
social entrepreneurship organization Ashoka where he helped lead marketing
and programming efforts for Youth Venture, giving grants to 12-20
year-olds to start their own social ventures. Dominic is a native of
Lynchburg, VA and a graduate of Elon University where he was an Isabella
Cannon Leadership Fellow.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia7501 Boulders View Drive, Richmond, VA 23225804-330-7400 | www.tcfrichmond.org