The Food Access Raises Everyone (FARE) Project is a broad-based, community-wide initiative designed to connect and support organizations and individuals engaging in healthy food access work in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. FARE is among the three partners in the Nourishing Power Network, which also includes the Swetland Center for Environmental Health at Case Western Reserve University and Neighborhood Connections.
The mission of FARE is to share best practices that will increase capacity and coordination across sectors, build demand for access to healthy foods, and improve health outcomes for residents and neighborhoods. FARE often takes a behind-the-scenes role to support existing food access and nutrition efforts led by the community or serves as a partner to help grassroots organizations amplify their impact with strategic planning assistance. In short, FARE has the know-how and the relationships with local community organizations to reach the people whose lives are most affected by disparities and inequities in the social determinants of health.
Morgan Taggart, director of FARE, explains that the organization was a natural partner fit for the Nourishing Power Network, particularly in supporting the Network’s fellows. “We were seen as an entity that could help with the fellowship component and support leaders moving from idea to action. We help connect investment in people while expanding their networks and access to resources so that we begin to tip the food systems to fairness,” she explains.
Taggart says that FARE measures the impact of programs by evaluating how leaders and organizations are serving their communities, and by considering the voices present when decisions are being made. When it comes to investing in community members, FARE considers whether new access points have been opened to people in a community. FARE also pays close attention to expansion and reach of projects.
“The power is getting people engaged in the process to develop and implement change through projects, programs and new businesses. And those are the community members who are also supporting those entities,” Taggart says. “That can make all the difference in making these things sustainable in the long term.