By Elizabeth Langgle-Martin, Community Engagement Manager
At The Nashville Food Project, we are passionate about many things: a freshly pulled carrot making its way from our gardens to our kitchen, an especially generous produce or protein donation from a local farm, watching young volunteers make popcorn on the stove top for the first time, and seeing neatly stacked pans of incredible food being loaded into our vehicle, ready to make a trip to its final destination. But perhaps most of all, we are passionate about our meals being served in partnership with diverse, essential non-profits doing poverty interrupting work in our community.
When Katie Kuhl of Crossroads Campus approached The Nashville Food Project about providing a meal to be served alongside their Wednesday afternoon self-development and skills training activities, we knew that we wanted to leverage our efforts to support the work the Crossroads team is doing with young people and with animals in our city. Crossroads Campus is nestled in the center of Nashville on the edge of Germantown towards North Nashville. It boasts a multi-use space which includes a retail store for pet supplies, a full service grooming facility, kennels for small adoptable dogs and a cat room brimming with soft kittens ready for a place of their own. Four apartments also are wrapped into their expansive space, offering respite for young people who have experienced barriers to stable housing. Crossroads retail store, grooming services, humane education efforts, dog treat social enterprise and adoption mission all provide a job training environment for additional young Nashvillians termed interns who need both a soft place to land and a launching place from which to prepare for their next steps. These young folks, age 17 to early 20s, engage in paid internship experiences and become proficient in retail, pet grooming skills, and animal care with extra attention to humane education. Interns have access to weekly case management support and Wednesday afternoons are reserved for special activities which range from yoga and learning about taxes to button making and conflict resolution. TNFP recently began providing meals to accompany these essential times, from jerk chicken and island rice to chicken parmesan, always with hefty portions of fruit and seasonal salad.
The Nashville Food Project holds tight to this idea of interdependence, one of our key values. TNFP sees its work of growing, cooking, and sharing nourishing food in order to cultivate community food security as only possible and only valuable when we do it in relationship with others. When we see our food served alongside the deeply invested work of groups like Crossroad Campus, we see our mission realized in new and vibrant ways and are encouraged by organizations that see our meals as a resource to enhance the unique community that our partners foster.
To see our list of other non-profit partners, check out our website.
Interested in exploring meal partnership? We will be opening up space for new inquiries at the beginning of July! Add your email here to receive a notice when we start to explore fall partnerships.