project leader
Sara C
15000 Woodworth Road
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the project

The Greater Cleveland area has most recently been charged with needing to find critical solutions to the needs and issues that are persistent in this region. Solutions have the potential to better serve the community when they are interconnected with local organizations and residents who share common goals. Care-A-Van is a program of Food Strong, a nonprofit 501c(3) organization dedicated to empowering and strengthening communities through fresh, local foods. It is a mobile community engagement initiative aimed at building healthier neighborhoods, increasing access to healthy, fresh foods, nutritional resources and wraparound services. We create vibrant wellness experiences at existing food-centric events such as farmers markets, potlucks and harvest festivals. We contribute:

- nutrition education

- food demonstrations

- book giveaways

- arts and crafts

- music

- physical activities such as fitness classes, hula hooping, jump ropes and more

- health screenings 

- resources and information disseminated by a variety of our community partners, which we call "Wellness Warriors"

This video depicts our exciting event at North Union Farmers Market last year, which was funded by LAND Studio/St. Luke's Foundation. 

Here is a clip from WKYC's We the People program, featuring this campaign!

Food Strong also offers a School Garden program, and our next step is to train our School Garden students in entrepreneurship and have them sell their freshly-grown produce, as well as value-added products they design and create themselves, at our Care-A-Van events. Our goal is to get a new generation of youth interested in supporting, selling and purchasing fresh, local foods while giving them valuable training in workforce development. We envision that our programming will foster increased demand and appreciation for fresh foods, supporting overall community wellness and even economic viability as more youth become interested in entrepreneurship.


the steps

- Coordinate partnerships with the local stakeholders to headline each of the monthly resource fairs.

- Promote events through signage, social media, email blasts and mass texting, as well as through our large network of community partners.

- Coordinate volunteers to promote and execute events.

- Commission fitness instructors, musicians and nutrition educators to implement activities at each event.

- Create well-rounded engagement strategy with surveys and focus groups that can properly reflect goals/values of those we serve.


why we're doing it

Food Strong is anticipating that through implementation of this model, we can foster a mindset that is devoted to self-efficacy amongst those who live on the East side of Cleveland. By informing our community on the different access to resources they will have as well as better ways to maintain their health, they can be motivated to start new patterns in their households and initiate new goals for their families. By experiencing access to fresh, local foods and giving back through being a consumer in their own neighborhood, we aim to give residents an added sense of responsibility for contributing to sustainable, postive outcomes in their own communities. This is a break from the traditional donor-recipient model under which residents in need passively receive goods and services instead of taking action to improve their own lives and adverse conditions in their communities in the long-term. From convening around fresh, local foods, Care-A-Van events serve as a gateway to jumpstart a future of endless possibilities.





Disbursed Budget:

7 Care-A-Van Events totaling $500/event
Travel- $30
Fitness Activities- $100
Cooking Demonstrations- $150
Site Coordination- $170

TOTAL RAISED = $3,746.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $112.38

Original Budget:

20 Care-A-Van Events totaling $500/event

Travel- $30


Fitness Activities- $100

Cooking Demonstrations- $150

Site Coordination- $170


ioby Platform Fee $35

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $310

TOTAL TO RAISE = $10,345




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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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  • Laurie Albright
  • sherry H. Greenberg
  • April Bleakney
  • Pat Redford
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