We connect organizations and people to help build a food system that makes local, nutritious food available to every Summit County resident throughout the year. We coordinate several projects that push us towards that goal.
2017 NeighborFood Mini Grant Applications will be available beginning March 1. Guidelines and requirements can be found here.
NeighborFood is an ongoing project of SFC that supports community gardening throughout Summit County. We offer relevant programs and networking opportunities for potential, beginning and experienced gardeners. Educational opportunities are also available through our partner organizations.
NeighborFood was launched in 2011 following our first Growing Hope Food Summit, where participants expressed interest in learning how to grow food and create community gardens. Representatives from Let’s Grow Akron, Summit County Master Gardeners, Hattie Larlham, and Cuyahoga Falls Community Gardens formed the original core group, along with a number of area residents.
Early on, the group realized that a major stumbling block for people who want to participate in community gardens is a lack of funds to buy the necessary materials – soil, plants, fencing, and boards for raised beds.
In 2012, with funding support from the Akron Community Foundation, SFC was able to set aside $5000 for the NeighborFood project. After reviewing applications, we awarded $500 each to ten organizations around Summit County. These were social service agencies, church programs, neighborhood groups, and groups of individuals.
Since 2012, over 40 groups have received grants through this program.
In 2014, Summit Food Coalition's Access Committee brought local community organizations together to launch a series of monthly mini-farmers' markets in the Summit Lake Neighborhood. Let's Grow Akron, Countryside Conservancy, Akron Summit Community Action, and South Street Ministries were the lead organizations, with Summit County Public Health and Akron Canton Regional Foodbank providing information and resources to attendees. Since the successful launch of that market in 2014, it has transitioned to a weekly market providing quality fruits and vegetables grown in Summit County to residents in the neighborhood, along with cooking demonstrations, live music, and kids activities.
The mini-market project continues to grow through the leadership of Countryside Conservancy and Let's Grow Akron to increase the number of neighborhoods establishing mini-markets.
*We recognize emergency food assistance is a critical issue in Summit County. As such, we hope anyone who needs these services will visit our partner Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank's page for information on how to find and access food from local pantries.*