Tackling inequities in Louisiana’s food system
- 1 in 5 New Orleanians are food insecure and 1 in 4 participates in SNAP or 64% of children in Orleans Parish are income-eligible for federal nutrition programs (incomes at or below 185% of the poverty line) .
- 42% of African Americans report living with obesity as compared to 30% of Whites in Louisiana .
- Only 1 in 5 New Orleanians reports eating 5 or more servings of fresh fruit or vegetables daily .
- In 2009, African Americans were 71% less likely to have access to more than one supermarket in their neighborhood as compared to residents of other neighborhoods .
Propeller and its entrepreneurs are working at all levels of the food supply chain to increase access and affordability of fresh, healthy food for low-income New Orleanians and communities of color traditionally disconnected from healthy food sources. Propeller small businesses and nonprofits are growing fruits and vegetables (both on the city’s formerly vacant lots and on farms across the region) and helping local farmers connect to city retailers and restaurants. They are bringing fresh food and food education to low-income populations, from establishing healthier standards for school lunches in high-poverty schools to increasing the produce available at city corner stores, and training community members as food literacy educators.
- Descant Ranch Food Hub (Startup, Growth ’17) launched a food hub to connect local farmers to their local consumer counterparts. In 2016, the hub sold 50,955 lbs. of produce, 3,600 bottles of local, gourmet syrup and honey, and donated 15,400 lbs. of produce to food pantries like Second Harvest Food Bank.
- Edible Enterprises (Accelerator ’15) provides 35 local food entrepreneurs with business support and an affordable, fully stocked professional kitchen space to prepare their unique foods for mass market sales.
- Sugar Roots Farm (Startup, Growth ’16) provided 1965 children last year farm with farm-to-fork education, teaching them to make a positive impact on the environment through their sustainable, free-range working farm.
- The Healthy School Food Collaborative (Accelerator ’13) has generated $12 million in revenue to serve fresh, locally-sourced, healthy meals to 40% of all New Orleans public school children.
- Sankofa Community Development Corporation (Growth ’16) currently operates 3 days of fresh produce markets, weekly healthy cooking and gardening classes, monthly community program planning sessions, 24,000 sq. ft. of urban farms, a weekly fresh food pantry, a market SNAP Match program, and SNAP enrollment services.
Supporting Food Entrepreneurs
We’re always seeking entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas to address food insecurity, especially as it relates to improved access, affordability, and consumption of healthy foods for underserved communities, and building a robust local food economy. Propeller’s Accelerator programs is designed to support entrepreneurs throughout the business lifecycle—from idea, to beta, to growth. Hands-on mentorship, access to high-level networks, pro bono technical support, and free office space, are just some of the benefits. Learn more about our accelerators, including eligibility and selection criteria, or visit our online application.
The Healthy Corner Store Collaborative
Hosted by Propeller, funded by the City of New Orleans, and operated by Liberty’s Kitchen and Top Box Foods, the Healthy Corner Store Collaborative is a 12-month programs that works alongside New Orleans corner store operators to maximize their business sustainability and increase the amount of fresh, healthy food they offer in-store.The program provides store-owners with one-on-one business mentorship and technical assistance to optimize their business for profit and long-term sustainability. View the application here.
Application here. Please return your application via email to Kristine Creveling at email@example.com or Sam Heyman at firstname.lastname@example.org OR call 504.507.0498 to turn in a hard copy.
Questions? Contact Kristine Creveling, RD, Food Program Manager