Urban Recipe and Wholesome Wave Georgia: Two PBPA Clients Bringing Healthy Food to Atlantans in Need
Providing access to affordable, healthy food in disadvantaged communities is a defining mission of many nonprofits. Urban Recipe and Wholesome Wave Georgia are two of the local organizations working to meet this important need.
Urban Recipe (formerly known as Georgia Avenue Community Ministry) began in 1991 when founder Chad Hale learned about food cooperatives and decided to start one. The organization has since grown to form seven food co-ops, each of which is composed of fifty families. Co-ops meet biweekly and members work to sort and distribute the food amongst families while volunteers assist with unloading the food trucks or transporting food for elderly co-op members. Urban Recipe also partners with other food-based organizations to further community impact, such as collaborating on classes with Cooking Matters to teach healthy food education to co-op members. Ultimately, Urban Recipe seeks to affirm that “dignity tastes good” and to provide a sense of community and security by furthering access to food and food resources.
Urban Recipe has been a PBPA client since 2006. Volunteer attorneys including Sireesha Ghanta, Brian Harris, Nicole Ibbotson, Amanda Langston, Sara Loft, Anton Mertens, Amy Michigan, Carly Regan, Rick Rufolo, Logan Thore, Kabir Uddin, Stan Wasowski, Todd Williams, and Tamera Woodard have assisted with numerous projects, including employment issues, a name change, and the creation of their Urban Health clinic which operates with the help of volunteer doctors and nurses to provide free healthcare services.
Said Hale of the free legal assistance provided by PBPA volunteers, “on all sorts of fronts, Pro Bono Partnership has been there for us.” Executive Director Jeremy Lewis appreciates having the opportunity to get to know the attorney assigned to each matter and believes PBPA’s strength lies in the issue-focused partnership between every client and attorney. “I really think Pro Bono Partnership is one of the best nonprofit organizations in the city,” Lewis said, “and working with the attorneys who volunteer, we know that we’re standing on firm ground.”
Wholesome Wave Georgia began in 2009 and seeks to strengthen local food communities by empowering networks of farmers to facilitate access to and awareness of healthy food choices. The organization’s flagship program—Double Value Coupon Program (DVCP)—is now in effect at fifty farmers’ markets. DVCP allows participants to double the value of federal nutrition benefits from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) funding when used at participating farmers’ markets. Wholesome Wave Georgia also offers transportation to and from the markets on their Fresh Food buses, assists with the often confusing SNAP enrollment process, and has implemented a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, which supports healthy lifestyles by prescribing fruits and vegetables to patients for redemption at farmers’ markets.
Wholesome Wave Georgia participated in PBPA’s Legal Check Up in 2014 and has since received assistance from volunteer attorneys including Noelle Abastillas, Jeff Adams, Clayton Coley, Zachary Crowe, Michael Deaton, Andrew Head, Jason Howard, Alison Musto, Dan Noice, W. Scott Ortwein, Sarah Parker, Gloria Robinson, Ellen Samuels, Bryan Stillwagon, Amanda Witt, and Steven Wong.
Executive Director Sara Berney found the Legal Check Up to be incredibly informative and appreciated how the attorneys took the organization step-by-step through each issue and prioritized and assigned the projects accordingly. She also commended the attorneys for how quickly each matter is resolved, especially those flagged as “urgent.”
“As a small organization, there are all sorts of legal questions that come up, and it could really put us in a bad situation,” Berney said.
Both organizations are celebrating milestones in the community this year. Urban Recipe will host their 25th Anniversary party at Mason Art Center on October 23, 2016 and Wholesome Wave Georgia hosted their 6th Annual Southern Chefs Potluck at the Inn at Serenbe on September 13, 2016.