Little Africa Food Collaborative

Little Africa Food Collaborative Logo

If you would like to learn more about LAFC, you can visit their website or contact Ms. Mikki Smith at or (216)799-9944. You can also reach Telia Badu at (216)253-7337.

Ms. Mikki Smith

Nourishing Power Fellowship Graduate, 2023-2024 Cohort
Transformation Proposition

What are you offering the community?

Little Africa Food Collaborative (LAFC) is a Cleveland-based organization working to address food insecurity and empower urban communities. Our mission is to provide a collaborative approach to urban farmers looking to source their food for local communities from the farm to the farmer's market.


Why is this needed?

Access to healthy, locally-grown food is scarce in many urban communities, a situation often referred to as food apartheid. LAFC believes that Black urban farming is vital to the health and well-being of these communities, and that education is essential to address the lack of knowledge about land ownership and agriculture.

Impact for Nutrition Equity

What's happening with this work in the next 6-12 months?

LAFC has a number of initiatives planned for the next year. We will be opening a small pilot cooperative space at Loiter Cafe to serve as a model for future expansion. We are also offering a 10-week course on food and nutrition, as well as an 8-week program on urban agriculture. LAFC is partnering with Urban Farming Collective Food System to promote Black urban farmers' food through the online grocery store platform.


Who else will work with you to bring this to life?

LAFC is working with a number of partners to achieve its goals. These include the City of Cleveland, which is providing us with land access, Food Access Raises Everyone (FARE), a comprehensive Approach to a Healthier Cleveland/Cuyahoga County, and Urban Farming Collective Food Systems (UFC) through agriculture education and agriculture business. LAFC is also working with TBOY (Taking Back Our Youth) to provide workforce development and mental health services to young people. Village Family Farms (VFF) our Urban Farming Collaborative community partner.

How Can You Get Involved?

There are numerous ways to join LAFC and our community partners: Become a member, be part of the solution and stay informed about our progress. Donate support our capital campaign or contribute to specific initiatives. Board Service shares your expertise and helps guide our organization's future. Volunteer give your time at our partner farms, events, or community initiatives.

Click here to download Mikki's 1-pager.

Photo of Mikki Smith
Ms. Mikki Smith, BSA,MBA,CPSS

Makanya (Mikki) Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois & relocated to Cleveland, Ohio, where she currently resides with her family. She received both her master's degree and bachelor's Degree from the University of Phoenix in Beachwood, Ohio. Now retired she spends her time as an educator, consults with organizations on curriculum development, youth curriculums and crisis intervention management, and assists with community organizing. Mikki is the Executive Director of Little Africa Food Collaborative where she educates on food nutrition and instructs the weekly gardening classes at Village Family Farms. Mikki is the current board chair of Union Miles Development Corporation. Mikki has received certifications as a Master Rain Gardner, Master in aquaponics and agriculture, and Family Peer Support Specialist in 2023. Mikki loves spending time with loved ones and celebrating life one degree at a time.