CFF Events (2011-2013)

Below is a list of CFF events that occurred from 2011-2013, prior to the formation of our working group structure.

Healthy Food Access Panel Discussion

North Star Fund, November 20, 2013

The inaugural event of the Public Health & Healthy Food Access Working Group featured three funder-practitioner strategic partnerships addressing food access and systemic boundaries in our region. These partnerships highlight the potential for enabling access, and, most importantly, achieving scale while addressing issues of equity through strategic programmatic and policy interventions.  Twenty-one funders and practitioners gathered to hear talk-show style discussions between: Rick Luftglass (The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund) and Colleen Flynn( Local Initiatives Support Corporation) on the topic of healthy food access in communities; Hugh Hogan (North Star Fund) and Liz Accles (Community Food Advocates) on universal school meals; and Kolu Zigbi (Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation) and Mark Dunlea (Hunger Action Network of New York State) on food policy and organizing.

Myrtle Ave / Fort Greene Site Visit

Brooklyn, October 30, 2013

As the first event of a newly-formed Urban Agriculture Working Group (after a roundtable strategy session), CFF members were led on a tour by staff at the Myrtle Avenue Restoration Project (MARP).  MARP has taken on a multi-pronged strategy to address healthy food access issues in partnership with many local partners, including New York City Housing Authority, neighborhood food policy councils, emergency food providers, local food advocates, churches and many more. Much of the work is being supported through a Convergence Partnership grant that marries significant local support from the Brooklyn Community Foundation and the Scherman Foundation with national matching funds.  The tour visited a farmers’ market and dynamic community gardens on NYCHA property, and learned about nutrition education, cooking programs and better produce in local boodegas.

Breakfast Series on Risk and Resiliency in the Food System

During this three-part breakfast series, funders, farmers, community leaders, and food systems experts throughout the tri-state region came together to share stories about how climate change and extreme weather are affecting regional food systems. We explored how recent storms Irene and Sandy have reshaped notions of resiliency in the food system and impacted long-term disaster preparedness planning.  Read more…

Emerging Solutions and Political Realities

Philanthropy New York, June 11, 2013

Long-time food systems innovators discussed the role of the philanthropic community in helping community groups, farmers, and government agencies prepare for future disasters. Panelists included Bev Eggleston, President and Founder of EcoFriendly Foods; Michael Hurwitz, Director of the Greenmarket Program at GrowNYC; and Dennis Derryck, Founder and President of Corbin Hill Farms. All three panelists shared stories of the high risk involved in financing and building regional food infrastructure and growing regional supply chains, as well as the need to use existing capacity more efficiently.

Stories and Community Responses

Surdna Foundation, June 6, 2013

James West, senior producer at Climate Desk, facilitated a conversation that highlighted the need for continued community capacity building, response hubs, and mobile infrastructure. Panelists included Robyn Hillman-Harrigan, Executive Director at the Rockaway Rescue Alliance’s Shore Soup Project; Bre Lembitz and Sierra Spingarn, Occupy Sandy organizers; and Niaz Dorry, Coordinating Director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. In discussing how disasters reorder and reveal communities, these community-based “first responders” deployed a “go to and get to” strategy during the storm, identified “choke points,” emphasized the need to resource ongoing grassroots leadership development, and urged funders to consider the difference between relief and prevention.

Fostering Equity and Adaptation in a Post-Sandy World

North Star Fund, May 28, 2013

Panelists Jimmy Daukus of American Farmland Trust and Jean-Paul Courtens, a bio-dynamic farmer at Roxbury Farm, drew on their experiences in Hurricanes Irene and Sandy to share reflections and give advice about how producers can increase resiliency in the face of climate change. They suggested that affordable, long-term access to land is critical, especially if farmers are expected to shift to more sustainable growing practices.

CFF Annual Gathering

Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, May 7, 2013

CFF’s Annual Gathering featured Dr. Marion Nestle, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and the author of eight books on food systems. During the gathering, Dr. Nestle spoke about the policies and politics that contribute to, or detract from, the creation of a healthy, sustainable, and fair food system, and urged funders to be cautious and thoughtful about funding strategies so that they don’t inadvertently contribute to the further fragmentation of the “food eco-system.” The gathering included funders from throughout the NY-NJ-CT tri-state region, as well as food systems practitioners who were engaged to help inform CFF’s four new working groups.  Read more…

Roundtable Discussion with Kathryn Boor

North Star Fund, January 29, 2013

CFF Steering Committee member Bob Dandrew, Director of the Local Economies Project, facilitated a discussion with Dean Boor, Dean of Cornell Univerity’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  The topics ranged from the history of land grant institutions, Cornell’s current research foci, and opportunities for funders to collaborate with academic institutions. Funders continued the conversation over dinner at the Hudson Yards Café.

Five Borough Farm: Seeding the Future of Urban Agriculture in NYC

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, October 25, 2012

In this funder briefing, CFF members heard from the team behind Five Borough Farm, a comprehensive and inspiring portrait of urban ag and the people who are growing change in communities across NYC. The briefing was followed by a strategic discussion about what philanthropy is and should be doing to advance urban agriculture in New York City.

How Youth are Transforming the Food System

James Beard Foundation, July 23, 2012

36 funders and guests convened at the historic James Beard Foundation to learn how youth are developing creative solutions to key economic and social justice problems. The event featured one youth and one staff person from three youth-powered nonprofits:  East New York Farms, Open Road, and The Youth Farm at the High School for Public Service. The panel was moderated by Ruth Goldman of Merck Family Fund and Barbara Greenberg of Levitt Foundation. Panelists shared stories demonstrating how their organizations are involved with the work, and then answered questions from the audience that dug deeper into their lived experiences in the field.

Sustainable Employment in a Sustainable Food System

The Rockefeller Foundation, June 7, 2012

This funder briefing coincided with the release of a new report called The Hands that Feed Us: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Along the Food Chain. Saru Jayaraman, Co- Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) presented the report findings and three panelists provided responses to the report. Panelists included Daniel Gross of Brandworkers International, Nelson Carrasquillo of CATA (The Farmworker Support Committee), and Sung-e Bai of Slow Food USA. The panel was moderated by Kolu Zigbi from Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and was attended by 48 participants.

Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Matter

North Star Fund, April 19, 2012

This networking opportunity brought members into conversation with Woody Tasch, founder and Chairman of the Slow Money Alliance, investor of over $16 million in more than 100 small food enterprises nationally and locally.

Roundtable Discussion with Kim Kessler

March 29, 2012

Eight funders joined Kim Kessler, Food Policy Coordinator of NYC, for an overview of the City’s approach to food policy, the PlaNYC agenda, the Mayor’s vision on food systems, and a discussion of the NYC Green Carts and Health Bucks programs.

Understanding the Connection Between Food and Public Health

January 5, 2012

This strategy briefing on improving individual and public health by transforming the food system featured Tracy Fox, President of Food, Nutrition & Policy Consultants and Michael Conard of Columbia University’s Urban Design Lab.

Creating Markets for Locally Grown Foods

December 6, 2011

This webinar on innovative models promoting local growers and a regional food system featured Dennis Derryck, founder of Corbin Hill Farm; Marcel van Ooyen, Executive Director of Grow NYC; and James Johnson-Piett, founder and CEO of Urbane Development.

Framing the Regional Food System

November 17, 2011

The first briefing hosted by CFF, this event provided an overview of our food system and the role that an organized group of funders can play in helping to shape it.  After an intro about the CFF network, Kubi Ackerman of the Urban Design Lab at Columbia University presented on the geography and design of our food system.  This was followed by a moderated discussion between Kolu Zigbi (Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation) and Elizabeth Henderson (Northeast Organic Farming Association) on the challenges and opportunities within the regional food system and the role of philanthropy.

CFF Launch Event

Atlantic Philanthropies, October 25, 2011

After an initial meeting of the five foundations that formed the original steering committee of CFF, a public launch was held in October, 2011.  Representatives of the five founding foundations introduced themselves and gave a quick intro to the plans and goals of CFF, which was followed by time for networking between funders present and a few invited practitioners from the food systems field.

Investing in Food Systems to Close Health and Wealth Gaps in the Black Community

North Star Fund, October 14, 2011

Prior to officially launching the Community Food Funders project, co-founders North Star Fund and Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation teamed up with New York Blacks in Philanthropy to offer this funder briefing.  The briefing preceded the 2nd annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference and featured a panel of three “solutionaries” to examine how the food system could be harnessed to build equity.  The panel included Dennis Derryck (The New School and Corbin Hill Road Farm), James Johnson-Piett (Urbane Development), and Savi Horne (Land Loss Prevention Program).