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Revision International

Because of decades of neglect, Westwood residents don't have access to grocery stores, parks, or safe spaces, leading to a variety of dietary related illnesses. Re:Vision helps residents grow their own solutions, building the capacity of the neighborhood and creating a thriving, resilient community.

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Re:Unite - Developing Local Leaders

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Families
Females
Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Hispanic, Latino Heritage

Description

The Re:Unite program focuses on empowering community residents to become change makers. As a core philosophy, Re:Vision believes community change must come from within, and residents themselves should be the ones addressing their own challenges. Recruited from the gardening families and hired on staff, the Promotoras are women from the community who are trained in all aspects of urban agriculture and healthy living. Promotoras serve as community leaders who help families cultivate gardens, check in on the general well-being and health of the community, navigate cumbersome government systems (like SNAP), and run nutrition, cooking and food preservation classes at La Cocina. By training and uniting a network of resident leaders, the Re:Unite program creates strong relationships, uniting a movement to create healthy, thriving, and resilient communities from within.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

2 members of our full time staff started as Re:Farm program participants, and through the professional development offered from the Re:Unite program, they are now full-time employees and managers of their respective programs.

Re:Farm - Cultivating a Community Food System

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Families
Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent
Females
Hispanic, Latino Heritage

Description

Re:Vision's flagship program's primary objective is to increase access to, and consumption of, healthy food in low-income communities by empowering residents to grow their own food. Each of our Re:Farm families are paired with a Promotora, who mentors them throughout the season. Families commit to growing a garden, attending nutrition and cooking classes, paying a nominal program fee, and participating in community events. In return, Re:Vision provides all of the plants, seeds, compost, irrigation, and gardening supplies they need. Neighborhood food production is bolstered by Re:Vision's urban farm and Caja Verde (hydroponic farm) where thousands of pounds of produce are sold on-site to the community by the WFC pilot market. This allows community members without gardens to enjoy fresh organic produce at an affordable price.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

For many low-income families, growing their own food is the only way they can afford to eat healthy, the only way they can teach their children where food comes from, and the only way they can access organic foods. From seven families in 2009 to 280 in 2018, Re:Vision's backyard garden program experienced exponential growth. Over 90% of these families live on less than $15,000 a year - abject poverty by U.S. standards. Because of the Re:Farm program, 93% of these families reported eating more fruits and vegetables, 94% eat fresher food or less packaged food, 96% cook at home more often, 84% eat more organic foods, and 84% eat less fast food. We are not just growing gardens - we are growing community. Re:Vision's Re:Farm program has cultivated leaders from within the community, offering them a better life and new opportunities. We have helped guide a community to develop their own food system through the production and distribution of healthy food, and through the education and job creation that result from local food systems.

• Since 2009 Revision has established over 2000 household gardens in and around the Westwood neighborhood.
• These gardens have grown more than 500k pounds of fresh, organic produce
• Collectively, Re:Farm gardens have saved hundreds of families over 1 million dollars on their groceries making it the largest program of it's kind in the US.
• Those families with backyard gardens reporting eating more fruits and vegetables thanks to their gardens. They also report feeling more connected to their community because of their garden.

Re:Own - Growing a Resident Owned Economy

Class

Community Development 

Beneficiaries

Families
Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges

Description

Building on the foundation of the backyard gardens, and the network of Promotoras, Re:Own works to increase community resiliency by increasing local ownership, incubating small businesses, and working with partners to combat the displacement caused by gentrification. In 2014, Re:Vision helped seven community members incorporate the WFC - a community-owned business seeking to open a full service grocery store on Morrison Rd. Since its incorporation, the WFC has recruited more than 290 member-owners, opened a pilot market, and completed a market study and financial pro-forma for a grocery store. In partnership with the City & County of Denver, Re:Vision purchased land that will be home to this store - calling the property Resilient, Inclusive, Sustainable, Economy, (or RISE) Westwood.

The development of RISE is creating a heart within the community. As the development continues, an arts and cultural center, fully licensed commercial kitchen, community gathering and training space, resident-led fitness and educational classes, Aztec plaza, and full-service grocery store along with office space and year-round food production will all open - each built on and expanding current programming by Re:Vision or community partners. At completion, RISE will be home to over 80 full-time equivalent jobs, becoming the largest private employer in Westwood.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

- Re:Vision incubated the Westwood Food Co-Op in 2014, the first food cooperative owned by residents of a low-income community in the country.
- In 2019, Re:Vision will support local entrepreneurs and help them launch their own food-based businesses

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.