Bainum Family Foundation Launches ‘Food Learning Locator’
Bethesda, Maryland (September 18, 2017) — A new online and mobile-friendly tool from the Bainum Family Foundation — the Food Learning Locator — is a one-stop resource for finding food-related community education and job training programs and organizations across the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Initially designed as a collaboration tool for organizations that run these programs, it also is being made publicly available to help the organizations connect with funders as well as with community members interested in food-learning opportunities. Potential users include:
- Local nonprofits and other program providers looking to partner on food-learning programs
- Philanthropists looking to support organizations in the food education/training field
- Parents wanting to learn how to shop for and prepare healthy meals
- Teachers looking for hands-on food learning opportunities to bring to their schools
- Local farms seeking applicants for their on-site farmer training programs — and beginning farmers looking for such training
- Young adults searching for culinary or food entrepreneurship training
- Clinicians wanting to help their patients learn more about healthy eating
The Food Learning Locator features nearly 300 community education program sites focused on food and healthy eating, growing food, healthy food shopping and cooking. In addition, it includes more than 100 workforce training program sites for existing or aspiring farmers, food service/culinary professionals, food entrepreneurs, and school teachers and staff. It also indicates the headquarters locations of the more than 50 organizations providing these on-the-ground programs and/or working in related policy and research.
The information is displayed on an interactive map that allows users to filter sites by criteria such as type of organization, program location (including state and ward), program topic, age group of participants and more. Once they find a relevant program or organization, users can view key information (e.g., organization’s mission, program months of operation and location), directions to the site and links to the program or organization’s website.
In addition to the map itself, the Food Learning Locator features an array of resources relevant to program providers and funders, such as an organization directory, a summary of key program data and contact information for development/fundraising staff at each organization. It also allows organizations to add or edit information — and for new organizations and programs to be added — as part of regular updates of the map’s content.
The Food Learning Locator is a project of the Foundation’s Food Security Initiative. This initiative aims to improve food access for low-income families in the District and strengthen the local food system. While identifying and connecting with potential community partners in the local food education and training field, the Foundation discovered a significant information gap — one that fit with its goal of convening diverse stakeholders to improve food outcomes for the community.
“There are existing tools in the D.C. area that spotlight food-access resources, such as food banks and farmers markets, but nothing comparable for food education and training,” said Leila Otis, Senior Director at the Foundation. “Food nonprofits and policy organizations were interested in collecting and sharing this information for their use in developing and offering programs, and that was the initial impetus for building the tool.”
However, everyone quickly saw the potential to create a communitywide resource. “By making the Food Learning Locator publicly available, those interested in participating in these programs can find options relevant and convenient to them,” Otis said. “We will explore ways to enhance and refine the tool based on community response to it.”
“This new tool represents the spirit of partnership and innovation that guides our work as a foundation,” said Barbara Bainum, Chair of the Board, CEO and President of the Foundation. “We are confident that the Food Learning Locator will benefit not only the children and families we serve in Wards 7 and 8, but our broader community.”
The Food Learning Locator is available online at https://foodlearninglocator.org.
The Bainum Family Foundation combines proven expertise with a passion for supporting the whole child by providing integrated services to help them thrive. Our circle of collaboration includes investments and support in early learning, wrap-around services and knowledge building. Founded in 1968 by Stewart and Jane Bainum, the Foundation has helped underserved children exit poverty through high-quality educational programs and services for nearly 50 years. For more information, visit bainumfdn.org.
The Foundation’s Food Security Initiative is dedicated to improving healthy-food access for children and their families in low-income areas of Washington, D.C., especially in Wards 7 and 8, by strengthening the local food system in four key areas:
- Practicing sustainable agriculture at the Bainum Foundation Farm (a 263-acre property in Middleburg, Virginia) to increase the availability of fresh, healthy foods in underserved D.C. neighborhoods and to preserve the land for future generations
- Educating children and families so they form and maintain healthy cooking and eating habits
- Supporting food-related workforce development to create economic opportunity, strengthen local purchasing power and provide job opportunities that drive food production and distribution
- Establishing new pathways for local food distribution to benefit both the community and local farmers
Senior Director of Communications
Bainum Family Foundation