International Rescue Committee (IRC)

New Roots in America

When refugees arrive in the United States, they leave behind everything familiar. For many that also means losing ties to the land and a tradition of growing their own food. In response, the International Rescue Committee has launched New Roots, a nationwide program that helps refugees establish community gardens, farmers markets, food pantries and farm-based businesses. The IRC provides agricultural training, tools and seeds, as well as connections to potential buyers. The program brings refugees together to share experiences and plant new and lasting roots in their adopted communities.
 

Puspa Lal Regmi, a refugee from Bhutan, harvests greensat a New Roots community garden in Boise, Idaho.
Puspa Lal Regmi, a refugee from Bhutan, harvests greens and other produce at a New Roots community garden in Boise, Idaho. 
 
Photo: Peter Biro/IRC
 
Refugees sell produce at a San Diego farmer's market
Refugees sell produce at a farmers market in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego. Like most IRC-supported markets, this one accepts food stamps and vouchers from WIC, the program specifically designed to help supplement low-income families with children or pregnant women. 

Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

 
Hailey Nielson (center), an IRC education coordinator in Salt Lake City, informs a  Burmese refugee about good nutrition habits.

Refugees and their children are at high risk for developing diet-related diseases. Hailey Nielson (center), an IRC education coordinator in Salt Lake City, informs a  Burmese refugee about good nutrition habits. 

Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

 
Sudanese refugee Bossn Gumaa works at a refugee owned and operated goat farm outside Phoenix, Ariz.

Sudanese refugee Bossn Gumaa works at a refugee owned and operated goat farm outside Phoenix, Ariz. The farm was started with support from a New Roots micro-enterprise program.

Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

 
the IRC’s Ralph Achenbach shows locally grown vegetables from a New Roots farm to Jeff Rossman, executive chef at the Terra American Cuisine restaurant in San Diego

New Roots enables refugees to make extra money by selling vegetables to restaurants and food companies. Here, the IRC’s Ralph Achenbach shows locally grown vegetables from a New Roots farm to Jeff Rossman, executive chef at the Terra American Cuisine restaurant in San Diego. 

Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

Get Involved in New Roots

You can help the IRC support hundreds of resettled refugees as they grow fresh, nutritious produce for themselves and their new communities. Newman's Own will match your gift dollar for dollar up to $45,000.  Donate Now - and double your impact.>>
1 comment

Comments

This program seems to be very

This program seems to be very innovative and successful. Congratulations. Hopefully, it will expand across the country. As an adjunct, you might be able to pair IRC clients with elderly farmers who've been unable to find the next generation to continue their farm. Maybe, the American Farmland Trust (farmland.org) would be interested in a joint program.

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