Willowbeez SoulVeg is a grass root, health conscious food business with the community in mind. Our brand was established in late 2012 thru the farmer’s market circle. We have set out to change the local perception of vegetarian foods by adding our version of soul. It is our goal to establish a brand that will make healthy eating a normal practice among the general public with a focus on the youth. Willowbeez currently contributes to the vegan/vegetarian footprint of Columbus through pop-up and catering at various venues and festivals. Currently we are contracted every Monday at The Hills Market Downtown, providing food for their Meatless Monday concept. We are also finalists in Columbus’ 2016 Parcels to Places competition and have received funding to transform a vacant lot in the King Lincoln District into a space to provide healthy food alternatives. We will be using the innovative shipping container concept to transform the space during the summer of 2017.
2) Describe your Community Initiative Project.
We will implement the following programs initially: **Fresh Food Friday (bi-weekly prepared food giveaway) **Garden to Plate: Giving residents the the tools to prepare healthy options at home (cooking demonstrations using locally grown items, providing food education and nutritional facts) **Commune in the Garden: programming for residents to assist with tending to the community garden **Willowbeez KLD Community 5k: to promote an all-inclusive approach to healthy living
3) What is your goal for this project?
This presence will expose the community to healthy, alternative options for food preparation and consumption through presentation and community programming in an area known to most residents as a food desert. The goal of all activities and programming will also be to include the partnerships with entities such as Columbus Public Health, Center for Weight and Nutrition (Nationwide Children’s) and other entities to enrich and educate the community on healthy eating.
4) How much money do you need and what will you use it for? (talk real numbers)
Total project budget $30k – other funding from Parcels to Places and Willowbeez business investments. We are currently in need of $5000 to complete the outdoor area adjacent to the shipping container and to fund the summer programs mentioned. We will use soup funds to complete these tasks.