No project is the same as the other. We weigh goals, context, timeline, and budget to customize every engagement.
Clients include non-profit organizations, businesses, and governments. Some recent highlights:
4P Foods aggregates produce, dairy, seafood, and meats from largely rural agricultural communities in the Mid-Atlantic and then distributes them each week to consumers and wholesale purchasers. Food Works Group worked with 4P and Fauquier and Loudoun Counties (Virginia) to assess the possibilities of enhanced infrastructure to scale the local foods movement throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. This involved more than 80 in-depth phone interviews, an online survey with 220+ respondents, dozens of in-person meetings, an extensive literature review, and more. Additionally, FWG worked with the client on securing the funding for the project. A link to the study can be found here.
Manna Food Center is the largest food security organization focused on Montgomery County, Maryland. Food Works Group developed the framework and performed the analysis of Manna's flagship, 24-site food distribution program, evaluating the efficiency, equity, and efficacy of current and prospective distribution sites. Soon after, our team was brought on to advise Manna on their contribution to the county’s Food Security Plan. We formulated recommendations to help transition the county's many dozen of hunger-relief agencies to more standardized data collection methods, including which data to collect to better understand the populations who visit hunger-relief agencies, to identify priority root causes of poverty, and to assess program success.
Drive Change leverages the food truck business as a living classroom for young people in New York leaving prison and jail. Drive Change's fellowship helps them gain essential job and life skills and, thereby, new employment and educational opportunities. Food Works Group developed a financial and programmatic strategy for the organization's next phase, a large-scale commercial commissary and scaling the organization's one-year fellowship. The comprehensive plan included analysis of organizational structure, market opportunity, financial feasibility, fundraising capacity, core marketing strategy, and more. It was used as the basis for grant applications, which have thus far netted millions of dollars for the project.
Crossroads Community Food Network is building a healthier, more inclusive food system in Maryland’s Takoma/Langley Crossroads through their food access, education, and micro-enterprise training programs. Food Works Group advised CCFN on the fee structure and financial strategy for their new, shared-use community kitchen that is used for small-batch food production. This economic development asset is yielding impact for individual entrepreneurs, as well as their communities. FWG continues to work with CCFN to support the program’s financial management.
Braise Worthy is an exciting new product line of frozen, slow-cooked dishes with unforgettably good flavor and stand-out ingredients from New England farms. Food Works Group was brought on initially for recipe consultation and development, and we grew to be the founder's partner in business planning and strategy, ingredient sourcing, commercial production, market research, brand identity development, packaging, digital presence, and more. Braise Worthy’s early success is positioning it well for growth in 2019.
The Chesapeake Food Leadership Council, formerly a project of the University of Maryland's School of Medicine, aimed to promote healthy communities and a robust, sustainable Chesapeake Bay foodshed by leveraging the power of institutional food procurement across the region. Food Works Group conducted qualitative research to identify opportunities that could ignite progress in 'Farm to Institution' across the foodshed. We conducted interviews with approximately 40 producers, distributors, institutions, and other key stakeholders across the value chain; the analysis informed a set of 10 comprehensive recommendations that have been a guiding resource for other farm-to-institution efforts in the region.
The Good Acre is a food community that improves market opportunities for farmers and other food producers in the Twin Cities region while also increasing access to healthy, locally produced foods. Food Works Group supported TGA with brand development, creating a marketing toolkit with key messaging for digital and print collateral, and also editorial and art direction for a capabilities brochure. It’s been a privilege to watch the growth and development of this anchor non-profit organization in the region.
MAZON is a national advocacy organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. In a multi-year engagement, Food Works Group researched innovation in hunger-relief and community food security programs across the U.S. We wrote a comprehensive guide to help food security organizations create lasting change in effort to address hunger as a public health issue. We also collaborated on the ideation and feasibility assessment of a national initiative to enhance organizations’ capacity and strengthen their food access programs and practices. We worked closely with MAZON to secure the funding for this project from the AARP Foundation.
Future Harvest-CASA is a network of farmers, fishers, and eaters all helping to build a sustainable Chesapeake Bay foodshed through education, advocacy, and relationship building. Food Works Group led a training focused on how board members can develop into more effective ambassadors for the organization; we also advised on addressing conflicts of interest and other fundraising strategies and opportunities.
Eat REAL provides market-based incentives to food service businesses nationally so they will improve their offerings of nutritious and sustainably produced foods. Food Works Group crafted grant proposals, wrote website content, and helped develop the strategy for this national non-profit organization and their REAL certification program.
FRESHFARM is a non-profit that operates producer-only farmers markets that provide vital economic opportunities to farmers and producers, and also leads innovative philanthropic outreach programs that educate the public about food and environmental issues. Food Works Group conducted preliminary research for a comprehensive benchmark study of the Chesapeake Bay’s foodshed production and distribution systems. This included development of an advisory board, defining the foodshed, identification of partners, and estimated timeline and cost.
The Mid-Shore Food System Coalition identifies, prioritizes, and coordinates food-system improvements with an eye toward improving community resilience and triple-bottom-line sustainability. Food Works Group advised the leadership on the creation of their charter documents, including drafting mission, vision, structure, and a strategic plan — all with the goal of strengthening food security, regional agriculture, and environmental sustainability in the five-county Mid-Shore region of Maryland.
Potter's House is a non-profit cafe, bookstore, and social-justice themed community space in Washington, D.C. Food Works Group helped formulate the vision and plan for their major renovation, including consultation on the physical re-design, menu development for the cafe, facilitation of partnerships with other mission-driven organizations, and sourcing of high-quality, local ingredients.
Food Day raises awareness surrounding food issues in the U.S., including nutrition education, sustainable agriculture, food insecurity, farm animal welfare, and farm and food service worker rights. Our team helped plan and manage 120 events across one week as part of the D.C. launch.