We are pleased to be partnering with Oakland-based nonprofit Planting Justice by supporting the urban agriculturalists in obtaining a $40,000 grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB)’s Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) program. Through our membership with the FHLB, NCCLF was able to sponsor Planting Justice for this funding, which will support the development of a sustainable irrigation system that harvests rain water, planting 500 fruit and nut trees in Oakland, and training and hiring formerly incarcerated people to manage their farm. “Our work shows that if formerly incarcerated people receive wrap-around support and the opportunity to earn living-wages while transforming their communities for the better, they not only stay out of prison, they become empowered change-makers and inspirational presences in the lives of their families and communities,” said Planting Justice’s co-founder and director Gavin Raders.

Planting Justice is a grassroots organization with a mission to democratize access to affordable, nutritious food by empowering urban residents with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to maximize organic food production, expand job opportunities, and ensure environmental sustainability in the Bay Area. This grant will allow the organization to transform East Bay hillsides into “food forests” with perennial, organic, and bio-diverse food production systems that are resilient to climate stress over many decades. It is also done in a way that creates living wage jobs for individuals with significant barriers to employment due to incarceration. “As we work to transition into more just, sustainable, and resilient local economies and food systems, formerly incarcerated people and their families will be the drivers and beneficiaries of economic and social progress,” said Raders.

The AHEAD Program is provided through the FHLB of San Francisco and fosters early-stage funding of targeted economic development and housing projects. “NCCLF seeks out innovative projects that respond to our priorities of economic justice, poverty alleviation, and food security,” said Mary Rogier, NCCLF President. “We are thrilled to advance Planting Justice’s cause of economic advancement and sustainable urban agriculture.”