Community Foodworks

Good Food for the People

Washington, DC   |  www.community-foodworks.org

Mission

Community Foodworks (CFW) is a DC-based, mission-driven non-profit organization that works to increase access to fresh and healthy food for underserved populations while creating opportunities for local farmers. We operate a network of farmers markets and manage a portfolio of innovative food access programs based at those markets that improve the lives and health of low-income community members. By incentivizing low-income customers to buy healthy, local food while developing new distribution channels for local farmers, CFW builds a stronger, more inclusive local food system.

Ruling year info

2011

Executive Director

Mr. Hugo Mogollon

Main address

1380 Monroe St NW # 605

Washington, DC 20010-3452 USA

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Formerly known as

Columbia Heights Community Marketplace

EIN

27-3098311

NTEE code info

Nutrition Programs (K40)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over the past two decades, awareness about the importance and benefits of local and regional food has grown significantly, increasing consumer demand and generating millions of dollars in new income for small and mid-size farmers, ranchers, and food businesses across the country. However, access to local, healthy food is still a challenge for many Americans, small businesses, and organizations. In hundreds of lowincome neighborhoods and communities of color, affordable local food is largely missing.

CFW proposes a new model of local food distribution where farmers markets serve as the platform to connect local producers to excluded nontraditional wholesale customers while bolstering direct to consumer sales in low-income, low-access (LI/LA) neighborhoods: the Pop Up Food Hub (PUFH).

Community Foodworks manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of local food products to these nontraditional wholesale customers, generating new revenue stream for small farmers.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Matching Programs

Food Incentives at Farmers Markets: Vibrant, commercially successful farmers markets are the core of CFW. We create inclusive public spaces where individuals and families of diverse backgrounds and incomes can access and enjoy local food, interact with farmers and producers, improve their health, and build relationships and trust in their community. CFW believes the farmers market is more than just a way for small farmers to sell to consumers; instead, farmers markets are the focal point for a range of interventions whose impact extends far beyond the weekly market hours. CFW’s programs incentivize low-income residents and vulnerable groups to purchase healthy food at the farmer's markets. The programs empower participants by increasing purchasing power with matching dollars or vouchers: with more money in their pockets, low-income customers increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. These programs also increase overall market sales and provide additional income for small farmers.

Population(s) Served

One challenge with incentive programs is that people can CSA programs are one of the best ways to connect customers with the local food system and ensure a consistent weekly supply of healthy and seasonal produce. However, CSAs typically require large initial payments at the start of a season and are cost prohibitive for low-income customers. Community members who receive Federal nutrition benefits have thus been excluded from participation in almost all CSA programs.

In summer 2015 CFW launched an innovative CSA program that allowed SNAP recipients to purchase a reduced-price bag full of fruits and vegetables each week to address this challenge. The CSA program was open to all Columbia Heights Farmers Market customers, but those using Federal benefits could pay on a weekly basis, which enabled these customers to pay with their benefits across a given month. The goal of the CSA program was to ensure all customers received the same quality of service and product, regardless of their financial means.

Since 2016, this program is also available for WIC recipients.

Population(s) Served

Wholesale to Institutions (Pop Up Food Hub model): In 2017, CFW launched an access-focused wholesale food procurement service. CFW aggregates orders from varied nonprofit buyers and coordinates bulk purchases from vendors at CFW markets to fulfil deliveries to each nonprofit customer. This model allows community organizations that serve low-income populations (e.g., early childhood education centers) to source high-quality, local food for their food service and health-promotion programs at an affordable price. Considering that these institutions have been traditionally excluded from the costly local food wholesale market, CFW’s PUFH structure consolidates demand on the behalf of our partners, driving down prices and ensuring that low-income customers can receive the same high-quality foods that have typically only gone to wealthier, private entities. CFW’s Wholesale has also introduced a new revenue stream for vendors at CFW markets, which significantly helps to further secure their presence at farmers market in low income / low access areas and increases the stability of CFW’s markets and programs.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Community Foodworks is implementing an innovative model of local food distribution that creates new and diversified income streams for farmers through a combination of direct-to-consumer, subscription, and wholesale food sales: the Pop Up Food Hub. The Pop Up Food Hub (PUFH) utilizes farmers markets' infrastructure and logistics to make local agricultural products available to individual customers, small businesses, and other community-based organizations that have been excluded from participating in the local food system.

The PUFH model creates a hyper-local food distribution system by coordinating wholesale procurement from local farms for underserved buyers. CFW consolidates demand among dozens of community-based organizations such as small grocers, nonprofit food services, and health clinics, increasing their collective purchasing power. CFW then aggregates food from farmers based at farmers markets in low-income/low-access areas to fulfill the wholesale and subscription orders.

1. Develop and expand partnerships: CFW's success is rooted in partnership and collaboration. CFW leverages our access to fresh food and as well as our relationships with like-minded organizations to scale its impact and reach residents beyond our farmer's markets.

2. Diversify funding streams: CFW is including new funders based on our demonstrated track record of operational excellence and our ability to leverage resources in a way that amplifies the impact of any single funder.

3. Build organizational capacity: CFW believes that farmers markets have the potential to move high volumes of local food with low infrastructure and overhead costs. CFW makes targeted investments in personnel to facilitate relationships with partner organizations, conduct outreach and education in communities of need, and coordinate the food procurement and distribution activities that make our belief in the potential of farmers markets a reality.

CFW believes farmers markets are uniquely positioned to function as temporary food hubs that require none of the permanent infrastructure typically associated with bulk food distribution (e.g., warehouses, freezers, a large fleet of trucks). In CFW's “Pop Up Food Hub" model, the public spaces where markets take place serve as the central node for three levels of food distribution: 1) direct-to-consumer retail; 2) subscription (e.g., the Market Share CSA); and 3) wholesale. CFW aggregates demand and manages logistics for subscription and wholesale distribution activities, all of which take place during market hours while market vendors conduct traditional retail operations.

Coordinating and executing all these activities around the farmers market sets CFW apart from other organizations that operate farmers markets, as well as other food access organizations.

The past year continued to be a year of significant growth for CFW, seeing the addition of new farmers markets in the DC Metro Area. CFW provided access to fresh, affordable, and nutritious produce for nearly 10,000 District residents, particularly those in underserved areas across DC and Northern Virginia. In 2017, $350,000 in food benefits and incentives were redeemed for healthy, local produce across all CFW farmers markets. These figures constitute more than a 58% increase over the previous year. CFW distributed 5,895 subsidized shares to SNAP, WIC, and Senior customers. This also allowed the Market Share CSA to generate more than $102,000 in additional revenue for CFW market vendors, including nearly $45,000 in subsidies for participating low-income families. The Market Share for Early Learners brought food to 23 Early Childhood Centers, reaching more than 1,000 children weekly in some of the neediest areas of DC.

Financials

Community Foodworks
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Community Foodworks

Board of directors
as of 02/11/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jessica Luna

USDA

Term: 2012 - 2017

Jason Farr

Center for Workforce Development at the Institute for Educational Leadership

Jeffrey Stottlemyer

CLASP

Jose Morales

Keany Produce Company

James Huang

Unity Health Care

Jocelyn Lyle

Environmental Working Group

John Reich

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

Karol Dixon

DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative

Mary Conroy

USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Shannon Murphy

CBRE Group, Inc.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes