Urban Tilth, a nonprofit with a mission to build a more sustainable, healthy, and just local food system, grows organic produce on its seven farms for several free farm stands and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which distributes local healthy food to its customers in North Richmond, California. When the COVID-19 shelter-in-place ordinance took effect in 2020, elected officials, nonprofit organizations and county social service programs referred residents to Urban Tilth’s CSA for access to healthy local food. To meet this increased demand, Urban Tilth partnered with regional farmers, many with a surplus of produce due to the closure of businesses and schools across the state.
In addition to expanding its services, Urban Tilth moved from customer pickup to a home delivery box system, which further increased demand for the CSA. A COVID response loan and a California FreshWorks grant from Mercy Partnership Fund investee Community Vision strengthened Urban Tilth’s capacity and ability to reach more customers.
“Community Vision’s support helped us deliver more food to more people. We can really feel the love when we deliver CSA boxes and residents answer their door with gratitude for the food and for our work,” says Urban Tilth’s Marco Lemus.
Community Vision, one of 60 mission-driven organizations in the MPF portfolio, provides lending and consulting services to community-based nonprofits, small businesses and social enterprises in Northern and Central California to promote economic justice and amplify community-driven solutions. Learn more about Community Vision and Mercy Partnership Fund.