Food Access

Food Access

As Louisiana simultaneously leads our nation in obesity and levels of food insecurity,  it is more critical than ever to make smart choices available by bringing healthy food to underserved children and adults.

The Problem

  • 23.7% of adults and 26% of children are food insecure in New Orleans.
  • 64% of children in Orleans Parish are income-eligible for federal nutrition programs (incomes at or below 185% of the poverty line).
  • On average, New Orleans has just one supermarket for every 11,800 residents, compared with the national average of one for every 8,600 residents.
  • 1 in 3 children in Louisiana is overweight or obese.

The Solution

Propeller supports entrepreneurs at every end of the food production and delivery line. By approaching food access as a complex, multi-level system, Propeller helps ventures tackle the gaps and inefficiencies that prevent local growers and producers from delivering fresh, healthy goods to the state’s food insecure population. Propeller also accelerates food security innovators through PitchNOLA: Living Well, its live business pitch competition focused on getting New Orleanians healthier and more active.

Propeller’s end goal is systemic change, accomplished by collaboration between entrepreneurs working together to fill gaps in the local food system. For example, food access entrepreneur Jack and Jake’s (Propeller ’12) won a contract to aggregate and distribute local produce to the Healthy Food Collaborative (Propeller ’13). VEGGI Coop (Propeller ’13) purchased aquaponics growing towers from VertiFarms (Propeller ’13) and provided low-cost farmland to NOLA Tilth (Propeller ’13).

Featured Impact

  • Jack and Jake’s (now Dryades Public Market) (Propeller ’12) constructed a 27,000 sq. ft. market and distribution point, Louisiana’s first regional food hub capable of connecting local producers with local residents in need, including children at HSFC schools. The market is set to open in 2015.
  • Healthy School Food Collaborative (Propeller ’13) has generated $9.8 million in revenue to serve fresh, locally-sourced, healthy meals to 43% of all NOLA public schools.
  • VEGGI Farmers Cooperative (Propeller ’13) teaches sustainable urban agriculture to former Vietnamese fishermen who lost their jobs after the BP oil spill. Together, they have harvested over 30,000 lbs. of produce and 30,000+ lbs. of tofu.
  • Farm City Initiative (Propeller ’14) has facilitated over 120 agriculture redevelopment projects throughout New Orleans.
  • Community Plates (Propeller ’15) has saved 9,500 fresh meals from being thrown away and delivered them to those in need.
  • The Cookbook Project (Propeller ’15) has trained over 173 Food Literacy Educators to teach healthy cooking skills and nutrition education to youth, impacting an estimated 7,500 students.
  • Edible Enterprises (Propeller ’15) has welcomed 16 new tenants to the only licensed food technology incubator facility in the Metro New Orleans area.
  • Capstone (Propeller ’15) has distributed 2,550 pounds of fresh produce to food insecure individuals in the Lower 9th Ward. Capstone raw honey is now in 9 new retail markets and retail sales during the Startup Accelerator were over $3000.
  • Top Box NOLA (Propeller ’15) sold 2086 boxes of groceries to customers in food deserts across New Orleans since starting Propeller’s Startup Accelerator.

Propeller’s Impact Accelerator

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 Impact Accelerator 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 Impact Accelerator, including eligibility and selection criteria, or view the online application.

Food Programs

  • 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.

To Apply:
Application here. Please return your application via email to Kristine Creveling at kcreveling@gopropeller.org or Sam Heyman at sam@topboxfoods.com OR call 504.507.0498 to turn in a hard copy.

Questions? Contact Kristine Creveling, RD, Food Program Manager
kcreveling@gopropeller.org, 504.507.0498

Propeller Ventures working in this Sector

Southern City Farm, LLC

Southern City Farm, LLC

Andrew Prat

Sector: Food Access
Sugar Roots Farm

Sugar Roots Farm

Sharessa Garland & Ecoee (Joan) Rooney

Sector: Food Access
Descant Ranch Food Hub

Descant Ranch Food Hub

Seth Descant & Chris Fry

Sector: Food Access
Circle Food Store

Circle Food Store

Brooke Boudreaux

Sector: Food Access
Garden on Mars

Garden on Mars

Jeanette Bell

Sector: Food Access
Fresh Hands

Fresh Hands

Trey Green

Sector: Food Access
Descant Ranch

Descant Ranch

Seth Descant

Sector: Food Access
The University Medical Center Urban Farm

The University Medical Center Urban Farm

Catherine Hudson

Sector: Food Access
Sugar Roots Farm

Sugar Roots Farm

Sharessa Garland

Sector: Food Access
New Orleans Eat Local Challenge

New Orleans Eat Local Challenge

Lee Stafford

Sector: Food Access
Mothers & Caretakers Mending Family Foundations

Mothers & Caretakers Mending Family Foundations

Charmaine Washington, Chanda Washington, and Joan Surgent

Sector: Food Access
Sankofa

Sankofa

Rashida Ferdinand & Rosamar Torres

Sector: Food Access
The Healthy School Food Collaborative

The Healthy School Food Collaborative

James Graham

Sector: Food Access
Hollygrove Market & Farm

Hollygrove Market & Farm

Angelina Harrison

Sector: Food Access
Grow Dat Youth Farm

Grow Dat Youth Farm

Johanna Gilligan & Mike Kantor

Sector: Food Access
Top Box Foods

Top Box Foods

Sam Heyman & Connor DeLoach

Sector: Food Access
Friends of Lafitte Greenway: Growing the Greenway

Friends of Lafitte Greenway: Growing the Greenway

Sophie Harris & Nellie Catzen

Sector: Food Access
Gator & Crane, Inc.

Gator & Crane, Inc.

Emily Gaddis and Darrell Griewe

Sector: Food Access
Louisiana Farm to School Alliance: Farm2School Database

Louisiana Farm to School Alliance: Farm2School Database

Katie Mularz

Sectors: Food Access, Economic & Workforce Development
Dishroom Heroes

Dishroom Heroes

Jeff Gulotta

Sectors: Food Access, Economic & Workforce Development
Capstone

Capstone

David Young

Sector: Food Access
New Orleans Food and Farm Networks @ Edible Enterprises

New Orleans Food and Farm Networks @ Edible Enterprises

Ashley Mann and Sanjay Kharod

Sector: Food Access
The Cookbook Project

The Cookbook Project

Adam Aronovitz and Alissa Bilfield

Sectors: Food Access, Educational Equity
Community Plates

Community Plates

Melissa Spiesman, Lauren Rudzis, Kevin Mullins, and Jeff Schacher

Sector: Food Access
Farm City Initiative

Farm City Initiative

Sanjay Kharod

Sector: Food Access
VertiFarms

VertiFarms

Douglas Jacobs & Kevin Morgan-Rothschild

Sector: Food Access
Nola Tilth

Nola Tilth

Megan Webbeking

Sector: Food Access
VEGGI Farmers Cooperative

VEGGI Farmers Cooperative

Khai Nguyen & Daniel Nguyen

Sector: Food Access
Healthy School Food Collaborative

Healthy School Food Collaborative

James Graham

Sector: Food Access
New Orleans Food Co-Op

New Orleans Food Co-Op

Lori Burge

Sector: Food Access
Dryades Public Market

Dryades Public Market

John Burns

Sector: Food Access

Sponsors