At The Real Dill, we believe that it's our responsibility to seek out creative ways to leverage our resources in order to make a positive and lasting impact on our community. Two years ago, we launched our Charitable Partner Program to achieve our goal of giving back through fundraising and outreach. In 2017, we partnered with The GrowHaus, a resident-driven community hub for food production, distribution, and education in Elyria-Swansea and Globeville, two north Denver food desert communities, and in 2018, we partnered with Denver Food Rescue, a Denver-local nonprofit that uses the sustainable method of bicycle power and an amazing volunteer crew to save good produce from grocery stores, farmers markets, and distributors that would otherwise be thrown away. With your help, we proudly raised over $17,000 to support these important organizations!
In the past, we selected one nonprofit partner each year to be the recipient of our donations. However, after much thought, we’ve realized we can maximize our efforts by working with one long-term partner. We’re excited to announce that The GrowHaus is now our long-term Charitable Partner!
The Growhaus serves the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods, which are the largest food deserts in Denver and the most polluted area in the nation. The heavily industrious and historic working-class district has always lacked access to healthy, affordable food and suffered from high rates of diet-related illness. However, the vibrant and strong community is supported by a plethora of cultural activities and nonprofit organizations, like The Growhaus, that aim to improve the neighborhood.
The Growhaus is located in a restored green house that previously acted as a distribution center for Lehrer’s Flowers on 47th Ave. and York St. The space focuses on four key categories:
Here are a few highlights and milestones that The GrowHaus has accomplished since we last worked with them in 2017:
Food Distribution. The GrowHaus continues to make healthy food culturally, financially and physically accessible through the community market, their food box program, and Cosechando Salud (Harvesting Health), their no-cost grocery program. In 2018, the market celebrated its five year anniversary and saw over 6,700 customer visits. Customers saved a total of $13,621, compared to what they would have spent in a traditional grocery store, through their tiered pricing structure. The no-cost grocery program distributed 48,000 pounds of rescued food.
Food Education. The GrowHaus’ education programs strive to empower students with the tools to take control of their mental, physical, and social well-being, and the well-being of their communities. Nearly 3,000 students learned about growing and cooking healthy food through experiential and hands-on learning and gained leadership skills to drive positive change in their communities. BEEs at The GrowHaus, an immersive summer experience for young kids, reached nearly 60 students, double the number from 2017. Their education team ran six after-school programs per week, and 30 high school students developed skills in leadership, teamwork, and healthy eating and living during Seed2Seed, The GrowHaus’ immersive eight week summer program.
Community Outreach. Promatoras, residents of the GES neighborhood who serve as trusted community leaders for The GrowHaus, conduct the majority of outreach to community members. They provide education around growing food, cooking, and nutrition, while developing their own professional skills and cultivating and training other residents to be community advocates and leaders. In 2018, the Promotora team led 64 classes on topics including nutrition, wellness, and cooking such as preserving fruit, cheese making, and medicinal herbs. They reached 164 residents through home visits that provide education around growing and cooking healthy food and a place to receive feedback in order to gain a better understanding for the community's needs beyond food.
Food Production. The GrowHaus’ onsite hydroponic, aquaponic, and mushroom farm continue to serve as a model for sustainable growing techniques. In addition, each farm is committed to providing education and job training opportunities to community residents and the next generation of urban farmers. Last year, the mushroom farm grew exponentially, harvesting 120 pounds of mushrooms per week, including oyster, shiitake, and lion’s mane mushrooms, and the farm team sustainably produced nearly 75,000 heads of leafy greens. A paid farm apprentice was hired to increase access to jobs in urban agriculture. Interns received 5,000 hours of training on the inner-workings of The GrowHaus’ hydroponic, aquaponic, and mushroom farm.
If you're interested in engaging with this incredible organization, there are a number of ways to get involved!
If you can't attend the brunch on May 19, we’re participating in a slew of upcoming events. We look forward to bringing The Real Dill and The GrowHaus communities together to support this important cause. Stay tuned for our annual Pickle Party update, which will also benefit The GrowHaus!
If you live outside of Denver and want to get involved, you can donate to The GrowHaus here.
Thank you for all of your charitable support over the last two years. We can't wait to see the impact we make moving forward!