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Greetings!

We're excited to start off 2021 with the annnouncement of two re-granting programs: the second round of the Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure Grants, which has expanded its reach to include priority focus on Georgia and Florida in addition to last year's focus on NC, SC, and VA. 

And, Come to the Table has announced a new round of mini-grants which will offer $1,000 grants to rural United Methodist Churches in NC who are purchasing food from local growers or local restaurants to distribute in their community.

Also see below for an important Action Alert in support of the Justice for Black Farmers Act.

Thanks to everyone who supported our year-end campaign, and we wish you health and happiness in the new year.

Edna and the RAFI-USA Staff

Announcing Infrastructure Fund Grants 2021
RAFI-USA is pleased to announce the second round of grants from its Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure Fund. The program provides grants of up to $10,000 to farmers for projects to increase farm viability, support farmers’ local food economies, and preserve traditional farming practices. 

This project is funded in part by a three-year grant of $675,000 to support the Farmers of Color Network from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as funding from The Fund to Build Grassroots Power at Windward Fund, the Seeds, Soul and Culture Fund/New Field Foundation, and a grant from an anonymous donor-advised fund at The Chicago Community Foundation.

The deadline for applying is Friday, February 12 at 6:00 p.m. and grant awardees will be announced in late-March.

Learn More and Apply
Take Action! Support Black Farmers Today.

For centuries, Black farmers have faced discrimination, which has greatly reduced the numbers of Black farmers today. In 1910, 14% of all U.S. farmers were Black, today less than 2% of all farmers in the United States are Black. Much of this discrimination happened at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where racial discrimination resulted in the drastic loss of Black-owned farmland.

You can help by contacting your elected officials. The Justice for Black Farmers Act increases oversight to prevent future USDA discrimination and directs support to help Black farmers succeed, such as land access, training and apprenticeships, credit assistance, funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and more.

Together, we can create a food system that works for everyone. This proposed legislation would significantly help in that process. Please contact your elected representatives today.

Pictured:  Kendrick Ransome is a recipient of a 2020 Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure grant.

Thank you to our donors!
2021 Technical Assistance Mini-Grants
Now Accepting Applications
RAFI-USA's Come to the Table program is pleased to once again offer technical assistance grants to support up to 30 rural United Methodist churches throughout North Carolina that are engaging in emergency hunger relief efforts. 

To be eligible to apply for these funds, churches must be rural, located in North Carolina, and eligible to receive funds from The Duke Endowment. Churches must use these funds to purchase food from local farmers, local restaurants, or local food businesses to distribute to food insecure community members. 

Priority funding consideration will be given to churches that did not receive funding support from Come to the Table in 2020, as well as to churches that purchase food from farms or businesses owned by people of color, projects led by people of color, or projects that provide food for communities of color.

The grant application deadline is February 15, 2021, and applicants will be notified of funding decisions by March 15, 2021.

Learn More and Apply
New 2021 Cohort for Come to the Table's School for Food Justice, Faith, and Storytelling Announced
The Come to the Table team is excited about this month's launch of one of our newest initiatives, the School for Food Justice, Faith, and Storytelling (SFJFS). We received many applications and were able to accept 46 participants into the 2021 cohort of SFJFS. The goals of this initiative are to bring together faith leaders from across North Carolina to learn about the root causes of hunger, uncover and challenge the dominant narrative around why people are hungry, dive into theological frameworks underpinning food relief ministries and justice work, learn how story-based strategies can transform the conversation on hunger in communities, and gain tools to implement new and creative strategies to end hunger in their communities in partnership with others. The participants of this program will meet virtually monthly from January to July to partake in these learning experiences.
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RAFI-USA challenges the root causes of unjust food systems, supporting and advocating for economically, racially, and ecologically just farm communities.

We envision a thriving, sustainable, and equitable food system: where farmers and farmworkers have dignity and agency; where they are supported by just agricultural policies; where corporations and institutions are accountable to their community.

Your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. The Rural Advancement Foundation International is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our EIN # is 56-1704863. Financial information about the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA and a copy of our North Carolina solicitation license are available from the Charitable Solicitation Licensing Section at 888.830.4989. This license is not an endorsement by the state of North Carolina. If you have any questions, please contact Susan at susan@rafiusa.org or call 919.542.1396.

We believe in transparency, ethical accounting, and donor stewardship. RAFI-USA has earned the 2020 Platinum GuideStar Exchange Seal and the Charity Navigator 4-star rating, demonstrating our commitment to transparency.

 
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