Urban Seed Foundation is formed to share technology and leadership in creating Las Vegas produce and ending food insecurity
Tell us about Urban Seed Foundation.
Urban Seed Foundation was formed in January as the fundraising arm of Urban Seed Inc. Our founding team at Urban Seed Inc. knew that the technology being brought to market for creating locally grown produce for Las Vegas’ hospitality industry was equally as valuable in how we can solve food insecurity for urban communities.
Urban Seed Foundation was formed to share our technology and leadership with the community and advance a local solution to a global problem.
What are the goals of Urban Seed Foundation?
Our mission is very direct: Urban Seed Foundation is committed to ending food deserts in Las Vegas and creating a sustainable model with at-risk urban communities.
Our pillars to accomplish this goal are creating fresh-food access, nutrition education and advocating for legislative policy, which advances urban agriculture. Growing local food combined with fun, educational content is the key to true sustainability. This is how we will create self-sufficient individuals and empowered communities.
What has Urban Seed Foundation accomplished so far?
Well, it has been a busy start! Thus far we committed to a series of four “5K2Farm Fundraisers + Fun Runs,” the first of which occurred June 10. We raised enough money to fully fund the Somerset Academy Losee Campus School Garden Project.
In collaboration with Garden Farms, Clark County School District and Somerset Academy, this program will provide 18 garden beds, 7 fruit trees and 5 berry trellises — it will be the largest school garden in North Las Vegas serving more than 2,000 students, their immediate households and their community.
The program isn’t only the gardens and growth sites; it also includes a fully accredited STEAM curriculum for the outdoor classroom, a student-run farmers market and regularly scheduled cooking demonstrations for students and their families.
We also have been nominated for a seat on the Governor’s Council for Food Security, and we are a contributing committee member of the Grow and Feed subcommittees. The council was created to implement the goals of Food Security in Nevada: Nevada’s Plan for Action and effectively improve the quality of life and health of Nevadans by increasing food security in the state. We are very honored to be of service to our state in this capacity.
We are launching a series of seasonal Farm2Table fundraising dinners throughout the city with delicious surprises in store for attendees. We’ll keep you posted on dates as they are released.
And, last but not least, we have created a collaboration with UNLV’s Lincy Institute, Three Square and ourselves to implement a mixed-methodology research project critical in assessing what it is that community members living in food deserts and food-insecure areas want and need to encourage fresh-food consumer choices.
What does the future have in store for Urban Seed Foundation?
The future is bright for Urban Seed Foundation and our potential to serve food desert communities. With the passing of SB 429, a collective of like-minded organizations and local politicians have begun to pave the road in Nevada for policy that defines provisions for the advancement of urban agriculture.
SB 429 authorizes local governments to enact ordinances setting terms and conditions for using vacant or blighted land owned by a city or county for community gardening. This is the kind of work that lights us up at Urban Seed Foundation, and we will continue on this path of supporting policy to empower communities and cause food sustainability for at-risk neighborhoods.
Ultimately, we will begin to introduce the aeroponic model created by our community partners at Urban Seed Inc. into the educational garden programs for at-risk schools in Nevada. This will be a game changer at so many levels. Food-access volume increases substantially, while the use of natural resources decreases dramatically.
The science, engineering, business management, etc. related to aeroponic technology will be a huge asset to the STEAM curriculum used today. I also am very excited about the video content we will create throughout the year, content that includes local students and chefs and locally grown food. Growing a bright future is what we are all about!
Urban Seed Foundation is a component fund of Nevada Community Foundation (EIN 88-0241420), which is a recognized public charity under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Nevada Community Foundation website is nevadacf.org.