Food Security Colab Challenge

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Our Food Future utilized a variety of funding approaches to fund small and large-scale community-led food access initiatives.  Traditional funding approaches are by nature competitive and inadvertently pit similar organizations against one another on the quest for funding and resources.  A group of Our Food Future collaborators explored other ways of distributing funds that prioritize relationships, mutual support and the sharing of resources.  Thus, the Co-Lab Action and Funding Process was born.  

$100,000 was put on the table for food insecurity projects capable of being developed, prototyped, and piloted within our local region within an 8-10 month timeline.  Rather than applying for a particular funding amount, community groups brought food security program ideas to take part in the Co-Lab process.  Over the course of several months, they explored and built on the ideas, and then decided as a group how best to allocate funding. The group engaged in participatory budgeting, community challenge identification and an open-empathetic project design process.  Community changemakers collaboratively arrived at these solution ideas, sharing resources and funding allocations for seven interconnected projects.  Despite all projects being implemented, the participants continue to meet regularly to support one another.