Through our partnership with a global relief organization, International Rescue Committee [www.rescue.org] (IRC), we’ve learned that many of these newly resettled refugees in the U.S. need access to land near their homes on which they can farm—as a way to feel more at home and to provide healthy food for their families.
IRC’s New Roots Program does just that. New Roots helps refugees reestablish their ties to the land, celebrate their heritage and nourish themselves and their neighbors by planting strong roots—literally—in their new communities. Through community gardening, nutrition education and small-business farming, New Roots is giving hundreds of refugee farmers the tools and training they need to grow healthy and affordable food and become self-sufficient.
Our Role: Finding New Spots for Urban Farms and GardensIRC has more refugee farmers interested in growing and marketing their own food than it has land to support them. To help meet this growing demand for land–safe and accessible places for community gardens and urban farms—IRC turned to The Conservation Fund to assess vacant and underutilized parcels in neighborhoods where IRC’s refugees live. We’re starting in San Diego, and looking to expand into cities where New Roots is growing, including Oakland, Sacramento and Phoenix. It’s our hope that we can use our real estate savvy and access to conservation funding to make it easier for IRC to accelerate its humanitarian efforts. Together we can create a powerful force for good, offering a fresh start to displaced families who want access to food and markets that can sustain them.
“The New Roots program enables refugees to reestablish their ties to the land, celebrate their heritage and nourish themselves and their neighbors by planting strong roots—literally—in their new communities.”-- International Rescue Committee