Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest FerrariEnzo

Veterans Combating Child Hunger Farm: Euclid and Beyond

Recommended Posts

Hello, I just wanted to share with you guys a non-profit concept I came up with and have launched.  It is called Veterans Combating Child Hunger and essentially I target derelict or tax-delinquient land to farm.  The harvest will then either be sold in a fundraiser type manner, or directly incorporated into the food bank systems in place, or a 3rd option of hosting our own events.  Initially I had thought this year I just wanted to buy a side-lot next to my house in Euclid that I bought from the Land Bank.  I wanted to 'OK' it with the city first, and when I went in, I was approached by Paul Beno, who proposed to me a site on 238th and Lakeshore that the city is currently on the hook for maintaining and was quite large.  I was giddy at this suggestion because long term I wanted to buy up small lots around Cuyahoga County via fundraisers/grants to have perpetual operations. 

 

Currently I am seeking 501c3 status and I do not think that will be an issue.  I am also preparing to seek a National Geographic Grant via the Great Energy Challenge and show how I want to utilize the land we have right here in our back yards, literally.  Most people do not use their lawns and instead we emit a lot of emissions to maintain them (mowing,weedwhacking,edging).  Also, food in the store is transported with fossil fuels and sits in a store that is on an electrical grid that in this nation is most likely coal fire backed. 

 

The first year I told the city I would take on a 125ftx125ft section and grow 60-day sweet corn since thats all that we can really see working out with the time constraints.  Next year, I want to expand to the entire site, and the year after that beyond to smaller (or larger) satellite sites in Cuyahoga County and eventually *Globally* :).

 

Next year on the site here in Euclid, we are considering opening a pilot produce store that is operated by the non-profit.  We would offset the overhead of this operation by having a small education center people come in and learn about urban gardening and how best to use the natural resources and time they have available to them. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, awesome work FerrariEnzo[/member]!  I'm sure you're all over this, but make sure you get the soil tested for contaminants before any of that food makes to the kids. There's some nasty stuff on some of our empty lots, even in residential neighborhoods.

 

Keep letting us know how your project progresses!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a really great idea.  If you need volunteer help, feel free to put out the call here on UO.  I'd be happy to give a little time, work schedule permitting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FerrariEnzo, great idea! I've been the executive director of a nonprofit 501©(3) association for seven years and have been involved in this organization since 1983. So I know my way around them and am familiar with the laws affecting them pretty well. My first suggestion is for you to contact an attorney. I'm sure one of the food banks or maybe Green City Blue Lake can recommend one. If you haven't already incorporated with the Ohio Secretary of State, you should do so. You will also need to establish bylaws and recruit officers/board as the charter board in your bylaws, incorporation and your IRS filing. It may take you anywhere from six months to two years to hear back from the IRS. If you don't want to wait, you can have another 501c3-designated organization serve as your fiscal agent in the meantime. To get grants, you must have 501c3 status (or a fiscal agent who does) and you will absolutely have to have bylaws, a board, hold regular meetings, and take minutes. You are not a going concern unless you can show to funders and others that your board is meeting regularly and discussing and acting on organizational matters. A simple, starting board could include a president, VP, secretary/treasurer and two at-large board members. Always have odd-numbered persons on your board. Consider terms of office to get volunteers. Many will not volunteer if the commitments are open-ended. You can probably find some simple bylaws out there in google-land. If you don't find anything, let me know.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FerrariEnzo, great idea! I've been the executive director of a nonprofit 501©(3) association for seven years and have been involved in this organization since 1983. So I know my way around them and am familiar with the laws affecting them pretty well. My first suggestion is for you to contact an attorney. I'm sure one of the food banks or maybe Green City Blue Lake can recommend one. If you haven't already incorporated with the Ohio Secretary of State, you should do so. You will also need to establish bylaws and recruit officers/board as the charter board in your bylaws, incorporation and your IRS filing. It may take you anywhere from six months to two years to hear back from the IRS. If you don't want to wait, you can have another 501c3-designated organization serve as your fiscal agent in the meantime. To get grants, you must have 501c3 status (or a fiscal agent who does) and you will absolutely have to have bylaws, a board, hold regular meetings, and take minutes. You are not a going concern unless you can show to funders and others that your board is meeting regularly and discussing and acting on organizational matters. A simple, starting board could include a president, VP, secretary/treasurer and two at-large board members. Always have odd-numbered persons on your board. Consider terms of office to get volunteers. Many will not volunteer if the commitments are open-ended. You can probably find some simple bylaws out there in google-land. If you don't find anything, let me know.

 

KJP, thank you very much.  I forgot to add my former colleague, Katie Zvolanek, is now the head of Campaign of Finance for the Ohio Sec of State and as her brother served, she was/is keen on helping me navigate the right language for 501c3 and getting it through.  We are literally in the process of doing so right now. Katie is such a nice person and a talented lawyer, it is a great benefit to have someone like that help me through the process.  That being said, Ide love to pick your brain over a few topics such as grant writing etc.  Thanks again for your support and interest! 

 

P.S. Paul Beno, Planning and Zoning Commissioner for the City of Euclid came by today to help me get oriented around an efficient means of planting.  He lent me some neat equipment to complete the task so a nice shout out to him is in order.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FerrariEnzo, I'll send you a PM.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...