“We Grow Food and We Give It Away”
A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
Food is Free Washington is a 501©(3) charitable organization whose mission is to provide and enhance equitable access to healthy, locally produced food, at no cost, to those who need it in the State of Washington.
How do we do this?
- We operate small, urban farms to directly produce food
- We work to increase the presence of public gardens
- We organize and coordinate sharing tables to distribute the food produced both directly, and by public gardens
- We collaborate with existing public and private gardening and farming programs, gleaning and food rescue programs, and food distribution programs
Food Is Free Washington operates several programs in support of these goals:
- Food Independence Gardens (FIG)
- Tacoma Urban Farm
- Ted Erichsen Heritage Garden
- Triple Earl Gardens
We also intend to organize chapters of Food Is Free Washington in coordination with individuals and groups across the state of Washington, so we can provide financial, logistical, construction, and technical and digital communications support.
We are writing to request $75,000 as salary support for our supporting staff and to pay for our operating expenses for Food is Free Tacoma. Food is Free Tacoma currently is the only organization that uses the following three methods of combating food insecurity in Washington: community gardening programs, food rescue and distribution, and gleaning surplus fruits and vegetables
Food is Free Tacoma started in May 2015 with the simple idea of building community through the giving and sharing of homegrown fruits & vegetables. Since its inception we have built 30 streetside gardens, 2 large garden projects, rescued 1,000 tons of food during the pandemic to share with the community, grown and shared 5,000 vegetable starts for free to the public, and have 32 sharing tables throughout the city of Tacoma. Since we started our first Food is Free Garden the operating expenses have been met through small fundraising drives or subsidized by the volunteer director.
Serving the community through our Food is Free Gardens is about more than distributing fresh produce and food to our neighbors in need — it is about building local connections that lead to stronger, healthier communities. When a community member approaches us about building a Food Independence Garden in their yard, they are sometimes uncertain about how the process will work and sometimes about gardening in general. Once they have their garden they experience, firsthand how having one of these gardens means so much for the community. One of our community members shared this with us:
“Over the last couple of years, I have had circular relationship with FIF. Donated plants and produce, picked up plants and produce. Right now cauliflower plants from your plant giveaway are a beautiful display of green leaves in my front yard. Eventually bunches of the greens and the cauliflower heads will return to feed people in our community. Its fun when I am asked what are those pretty green plants in your flower bed??
It creates conversation with neighbors, learning more about each other & our community. Sharing is Happiness!!!”
As the number of operating FIFW Food Independence Gardens continues to grow, please consider assisting us so that we can keep building our programs and expand the services that we offer to the community