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Arcadia Food Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Agricultural Programs, Food

Mission: To promote the health of the eater, advance the economic viability of the farmer and support stewarship of the environment by creating a better and more sustainable local food system.

Programs: Fair food access: mobile marketarcadia launched its mobile market in 2012, as a rolling farm stand stocked with locally, sustainably grown foods including fruits and vegetables, herbs, pastured eggs, grass-fed and pastured beef, pork, organic milk, cheese, handmade bread and honey. The mobile market makes regular weekly stops in low-food access neighborhoods, accepts, and doubles the face value of food stamps (snap, wic, and senior fmnp). The neighborhoods we serve typically have high snap usage, low car ownership, and are at least a mile from a grocery store that can support a healthy diet. While many nonprofits working in food access distribute healthy food for free, arcadia's market model charges customers for the food it sells. This enlists our customers as partners in their health and the health of their families. Because they pay for it, the food has inherent value and they choose what they most want -- and therefore are highly likely to consume it. In testament to the success of the model, snap customers have increased the amount they spend from an average of $8 per transaction in 2012 to more than $19 per transaction in 2017. Our sales have increased by more than 500 percent over five seasons - from $44,000 to $182,500 -- with almost no marketing budget - just customer word of mouth. The arcadia mobile market represents less than 2 percent of all farmers' market revenue in washington dc but accounts for almost 30 percent of all snap sales at dc farmers markets. The mobile market is not just about food access. It also supports the local farm economy. Arcadia grows much of the food on the mobile market but we also purchase food at wholesale prices from other farmers to resell. This diversifies their businesses and gives them new customers in a market at no risk that they would not otherwise reach. Arcadia also stokes demand for the food we sell and increases our customers' culinary skills through the arcadia mobile market seasonal cookbook. Launched by a donation from the bon appetit management company and continued through sponsorship by organic valley, arcadia gives this book free to customers who use any form of nutrition benefits to inspire them to cook from scratch at home. The 92-page cookbook with all original photography by molly m. Peterson has been praised by the washington post, essence magazine, npr, food tank and many other food advocates. More than 6,800 copies of the book have been distributed around the world and locally to low-income customers. The remarkable effectiveness of the mobile market is attributable to our high-quality food, excellent customer service, affordable prices, and locations that are convenient to people with limited incomes.

sustainable agriculture: veteran farmer program since 2015, arcadia has trained 32 military veterans to be farmers on our farm, land that george washington once cultivated. These beginning farmers learn the art, science, and business of agriculture in a one-year program. Arcadia has two training tracks. Arcadia's veteran fellowship is a one-year, salaried on-farm apprenticeship for military veterans to learn and practice sustainable agricultural methods. The veteran farmer reserve program meets one weekend a month for 12 months for intensive cultivation, business, botany, and farming skills training, along with field visits to successful farms to explore the full range of agricultural businesses. The reservists also work two weeks a year on arcadia farm to experience the challenges, rewards, and day-to-day rhythms of agriculture.

sustainable agriculture: production farm & demonstration farmarcadia cultivates a three-acre sustainable vegetable farm with 15 more arable acres to plant in coming years. Arcadia also cultivates a one-acre demonstration farm, which is the campus for field trips and farm camps and the site of many volunteer experiences. Arcadia grows using methods rooted in the organic program that build soil fertility and protect pollinators, wildlife, the watershed, and the staff, trainees, schoolchildren, and many volunteers who work on and visit the farm. Arcadia produced more than 119,000 servings of fresh, healthy food for underserved populations in 2017.

the farm to school program works to improve our local food economy and the health and well-being of schoolchildren by helping schools get more local, healthy and sustainable foods into school meals. Arcadia's farm to school program also provides hands-on opportunities for schoolchildren to connect with their food and where it comes from. Arcadia farm camp is all about farming, food, and fun. Farm - campers learn about daily farm life. From morning chores like watering, harvesting, and collecting eggs to planting seeds and tilling garden beds, kids get to be the farmers during each week of arcadia farm camp. Arcadia field trip- the farm hosts field trips for schools in the local area, which are designed to connect pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students (and other interested groups) with where food comes from while meeting age-appropriate curriculum standards. Woodlawn development-arcadia in partnership with the national trust for historic preservation has launched a multi-year redesign and development of the woodlawn-pope leighey estate, reimagining it as a cultural center for food and agriculture with mission-related businesses and enhanced programming. The share fund granted arcadia a total of $500,000 for the design development work. It is ongoing.

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