Y&H Soda Foundation pledges ‘seed’ funding for Oakland New Roots
IRC in Oakland is pleased to announce the Y & H Soda Foundation’s pledge to fund initial start up costs of a New Roots farm project in Pinole, CA. The Foundation is a long time supporter of IRC’s employment program, and is excited to be an initial investor in this innovative opportunity for refugees to reconnect to land, gain experience as a micro-producer in the US, and grow their potential economic opportunities in the agriculture field.
Through specialized farm training and agriculture job skills that foster entrepreneurship, refugees with varying backgrounds will be afforded a unique opportunity for long term economic success that also nourishes their personal connection to their agrarian cultures they left behind in their country of origin.
IRC has partnered with Community Health for Asian Americans (CHAA) and People United for a Better Life in Oakland (PUEBLO), utilizing collaborative strengths in local resources, agriculture expertise, and strategic partnerships to pilot the New Roots Farming Collaborative at PUEBLO’s community farm land located in Pinole, CA. This partnership opens groundbreaking opportunities for refugees and asylees to become urban agriculture micro-producers and agro-preneurs and pave a new path to economic self sufficiency and entrance into the agriculture job market.
IRC in Oakland will utilize 3 acres of land through PUEBLO’s Pinole farm to launch the micro-producers component of the New Roots model that will offer 10-12 refugees/asylees a small plot of land, extensive farm training, and assistance accessing markets to begin with small scale production and sales.
With funding from Y&H Soda Foundation, IRC is able to fund the farm infrastructure including fencing and water system. We are grateful for the Foundation’s support and look forward to watching this project ‘grow’!