A $100,000 grant from Impact100 Martin helps House of Hope provide healthier food to more people
STUART, Fla. –House of Hope is a recipient of a $100,000 grant from Impact100 Martin to expand its “Feeding Families for Success” program. The impact grant provides critical funding for enhancing production capabilities at the Growing Hope Farm in Palm City and the Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center in Stuart.
Both Growing Hope Farm and the Lahti Nutrition Center are innovative approaches to feeding the hungry in Martin County. They provide fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables so that House of Hope can not only feed people but also provide them with healthy food.
Thanks to the Impact 100 Grant, Growing Hope Farm will increase capacity within its hydroponic greenhouse, adding almost 5,000 plants to its trellis growing systems. The farm is already producing 1,400 packages of food weekly to improve the diets of those who seek help from House of Hope.
The Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center, which currently produces 1,600 packages each week of healthy meals and salads for clients and partners, will use the grant funding to create more productive workspace and automate tasks such as dishwashing and food processing. The expansion will allow for more meals to be delivered to food pantries each week.
“We know that healthy children are better learners, and healthy adults are ‘better earners’ – becoming more successful in the workforce and increasing their chances for financial independence,” says Rob Ranieri, Chief Executive Officer of House of Hope. “House of Hope is very grateful to the outstanding philanthropists of Impact100 Martin for supporting us in our efforts and to the Community Foundation of Martin-St. Lucie. which has been an essential partner in our community outreach.”
Expansion plans reflect the growing need for food assistance within the community, particularly since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic. Beginning in March 2020, House of Hope registered more than 700 new families and 1,500 individuals. “The people coming through our doors were faces we’d never seen before. People who had never before in their lives needed help putting food on the table were struggling to survive. It was heartbreaking,” explains Ranieri.
Increased production from Growing Hope Farm and Lahti Nutrition Center will add to the nutritious foods that can be distributed to more than 7,000 clients a month served through House of Hope’s four food pantries and an additional 3,500 people who are served through 24 community food partners.
“Sadly, a year after the impact of the pandemic first began to be felt, the need for our food pantries and food bank partners hasn’t declined,” says Ranieri. “House of Hope is continuously evolving and improving to meet that community need. We’ve risen to the challenge.”
To learn more about House of Hope, visit www.hohmartin.org.
About House of Hope
Founded in 1984, House of Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. House of Hope touches the lives of more than 7,000 people each month helping with basic needs such as food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance, as well as longer-term case management services that help build life skills for a more self-sufficient future.
The organization has service centers and thrift stores in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown, and Jensen Beach. House of Hope’s Golden Gate Center for Enrichment in Stuart offers free programs, technology, and workshops designed to enhance life skills, earning potential, health, and overall well-being.
House of Hope also operates the Growing Hope Farm in Palm City and several nutrition gardens that provide sustainable sources of fresh produce for clients as well as nutrition education and vocational opportunities to the community. For more information, visit hohmartin.org or call 772-286-4673. Updates and announcements can also be found on Facebook, Instagram Instagram, and Twitter.