Policy Action for Food Justice Grant

The Policy Action for Food Justice Grant sought to fund applications with a policy engagement for nutrition equity initiatives that results in a tangible win for food justice in Cuyahoga County over the 15-month grant timeframe and build power of the group funded to sustain this work long-term. The initiatives needed to have an impact on local institutions, organizations, and agencies in cities within Cuyahoga County or those serving Cuyahoga County as a whole and could not focus on State or federal policy. 

  • Award Type: Grant

  • Awarded Amount: $50,000 

  • Project Period: 15 Months; October 1, 2023 to December 31, 2024

Congratulations to Jardin 4 Life! 

Jardin 4 Life is honored to work with Lincoln West Global Studies towards food justice through their project “Garden like it’s 1890.” Their vision is to continually lead students in sustainability through inspiration, education and action. Their food justice effort is to create a curriculum that will be used in Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools to bring back gardens and the skills that lead the community, families and students to a more sustainable life. By teaching the next generation about urban farming and its many benefits, they will create the path for the students to expand on agribusinesses, culinary skills, mental health activities and grounding. The policy initiative seeks to bring back the district-wide policy of teaching agriculture and its related topics in all CMSD schools that once had many other countries (yes, countries!) admiring Cleveland as "The City Of Urban Farming." This project is led by a wonderful team of three- Tanisha Velez is a “growing” business owner, Darien Murdock is the Director of the Roberto Clemente Baseball League and Rosa Cruz is a Multicultural teacher at Lincoln West High School. 

Headshot of Rosa Cruz
Rosa Cruz, CMSD Educator

Rosa Cruz Morales is a teacher for CMSD schools since 2013. Community activist and advocate for the Youth.  Mother of two boys Ajani and Arian. Rosa has dedicated her life to encourage, equip and empower people to take care of their health,  practice civic activities such as voting, enhance their education and take care of their communities. 

Tanisha Velez Headshot
Tanisha Velez, President of Jardin 4 Life

Tanisha Velez is a native to Cleveland. She is a mother of three growing young men and a life partner to her high school sweetheart. Tanisha has become a serial entrepreneur and a mentor to many. Tanisha is the founder, lead grower of Cleveland Fresh an Urban Agriculture Operation. She is the president of Jardin 4 Life Inc a newly formed nonprofit that focuses on inspiring, educating and training the next generation of farmers. She also runs the Cleveland Fresh Farmers Market a once-a-week market that shares opportunity with the community, resources and fresh produce. Tanisha is the co-director of the Roberto Clemente Baseball League a newly launched baseball league that supported 250 Cleveland youth from ages 3-18 years old. She feels that her purpose is to inspire others to grow food and become sustainable. Through her many efforts she focuses on involving the youth as they are the ones to lead us. 

Darien Murdock, Co-President of Jardin 4 Life; Lead Contractor for Cleveland Fresh; Director, Coach and Trainer of Roberto Clemente Baseball League; 

Darien Murdock, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, has been immersed in the sport of baseball since the tender age of five. Having successfully completed his education at a Cleveland public school, he now holds the esteemed position of director at the Roberto Clemente Baseball league. A proud father of three young men aged 8,10, and 14. Darien understands the importance of men stepping up to become a positive role model for the next generation. Darien supports various projects in Cleveland that support next generation leaders like the Lifting Puerto Rico Project. Darien mentors over 30 young men every year through baseball and these efforts. He is also the lead contractor for the non profit Jardin 4 Life and Cleveland Fresh. Grassroot initiative to help diversify the urban Agriculture community and to also educate and inspire others to become sustainable.