Organic Future FundObtain Fresh and Nutritious Organic Produce.
Announcing the Organic Future Fund
50 years ago the Northeast Organic Farming Association was founded, and in July of 1986 the NJ chapter was incorporated. Today, we have grown to 350 active members, an 800+ farmer network and 5,551 Facebook, 1,457 Instagram and 1,855 Twitter followers. Last year, we had over 50 events, with 1,700 participants.
Over the years we have created an organic food and farming community that promotes local organic food through education, research, and advocacy. The chemical, industrialized food system has given us cheap food, but the society at large pays the price with chronic disease, animal cruelty, and a polluted environment. There is also world wide consensus that climate change is real and that we are experiencing its devastating effects. It is estimated that industrialized agriculture accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, and that regenerative, organic farming practices can help mitigate these effects by sequestering carbon in the soil. For the past 35 years, NOFA-NJ has been nurturing a farmer network that shares organic management practices to provide more nutritious food. NOFA-NJ has educated young farmers throughout the state with both technical training and business skills, so that now it is possible to find local organic farms and foods across our state. We provide information for consumers about why to purchase organic food, where to find a farm or local markets and businesses, and how to cook to create a delicious, nutritious meal.
The public demand for organic continues to grow
In fact, organic food is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. food market with 9.3-percent year-over-year dollar sales growth of organic fresh produce for the first quarter of 2021 outpacing conventional produce sales, which grew by only 2.9 percent. Organic fresh produce volume grew by 5.7 percent, while conventional volume saw a decline of 0.6 percent. Supermarket news, April 16, 2021.
An alarming rise in food insecurity
In contrast to this increased demand for organic, New Jersey is simultaneously experiencing an alarming rise in food insecurity due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. According to the COVID-19’s Impact on Food Insecurity in NJ report from September 2020 (Special Report: COVID-19’s Impact on Hunger in New Jersey – CFBNJ), the number of New Jerseyans with uncertain access to healthy food was expected to increase by more than 50% by year end because of the pandemic, totaling 1.2 million “food insecure” people or 13.5% of the population.
For children, the projected increase was bigger at 75%, bringing the report’s stated total to 365,000. In response to this challenge, last month, NOFA-NJ launched “Growing in the Garden State” in partnership with the Drumthwacket foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Rutgers University and the Cooperative Gardens Commission. The program offers free monthly virtual classes to help support NJ families who want to grow food at home and in community gardens. Program partners will share monthly online classes, video and other resources and community networks to empower residents, especially those living in urban environments, to obtain fresh and nutritious organic produce.
Together we can change the food system!
For 35 years, we have been able to support our local farms and community with the generous support of you, our donors. To give us the financial stability to continue for the next 50 years, we are creating the Organic Future Fund which will be allowed to grow, withdrawing funds only as needed in hard times.
We have already raised $150,000 with donations and pledges of bequests towards our goal of $1 million. The first 25 donations over $100 will receive an autographed copy of Mark Bittman’s latest book “Animal, Vegetable, Junk”.
Please vote for a healthier, more equitable food system by donating to this Fund.