Roots & Branches Foundation, a grantmaking initiative of Rose Community Foundation, has awarded $74,000 in grants to four projects in two grant priority areas: supporting access to nutritious food, and supporting middle skill job training and placement.
This was the seventh year of Roots & Branches Foundation, which is composed of Jewish individuals in their 20s and 30s from throughout the Greater Denver community. To inform their grantmaking, this year’s 18-member group studied Jewish values and teachings, explored community needs and engaged in strategic philanthropy, grantmaking that supports organizations in creating lasting, positive change.
The grant priorities Roots & Branches members selected and the grants they made represent a manifestation of their shared Jewish values: that the highest level of tzedakah (giving in pursuit of justice) is to support people in becoming self-sufficient and that the dignity of others should be as precious to us as our own.
Grantmaking with Roots & Branches Foundation was more personally meaningful and more deeply impactful as a result of the process, which is rooted in Jewish philanthropic values and the collective wisdom of the group,” says member Geoffrey Shamos. “I am confident that our grants will have a lasting, positive effect on the community through the amazing work undertaken by local organizations focused on food insecurity and middle-skills job training.”
Following is a list of the grants awarded by Roots & Branches Foundation in 2014. Locations indicate the organization’s headquarters, not necessarily the geographic area served.
Supporting Access to Nutritious Food
Denver Urban Gardens (Denver): $10,000 for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program at DeLaney Community Farm, which provides free vegetable shares as well as training in gardening and healthy food preparation for low-income families.
Revision International (Denver): $25,000 for Re:Farm, a program to increase access to healthy, local and organic food for low-income families by empowering residents to grow food in their own backyards. The program provides training, garden supplies and year-round support.
Supporting Middle Skill Job Training and Placement
Community College of Aurora (Denver): $25,000 for the Healthcare Bridge Certificate Program to provide non-native English speaking students with advanced language development and health care skills and certifications. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to enter a health-related career path.
Work Options for Women (Denver): $14,000 for the Advanced Culinary and Supervisory Skills Training Program, which provides paid and supervised, on-the-job training in culinary supervision and management skills. Students completing the program enter the job market at a higher wage and progress more quickly up the food services career ladder.
Roots & Branches Foundation 2013-14 Members