FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2021
CONTACT: Rob Reiman, CEO, The Giving Grove
NATIONAL NONPROFIT ESTABLISHES AFFILIATE IN CINCINNATI
Giving Grove orchards provide free fruits, nuts and berries for neighborhoods facing food insecurity
Cincinnati -- The Giving Grove, a Kansas City-based nonprofit serving food insecure communities, announces today it will expand to Cincinnati through a partnership with Green Umbrella and the Common Orchard Project.
Launched in 2013, The Giving Grove has 273 orchards across the U.S. that provide free, holistically-grown fruits, nuts and berries for neighborhoods with high rates of food insecurity. After finding success with its model in Kansas City, The Giving Grove began expanding to other cities with high food insecurity rates, launching affiliate programs in St. Louis and Omaha in 2017, and Memphis, Louisville, and rural Kansas in 2020. Giving Grove’s expansion plans include launching affiliates in 14 more U.S. cities by 2025.
The typical Giving Grove orchard will produce more than 10,570 servings of free, healthy foods worth nearly $9,000 each year. With a 50-60+ year lifespan, each orchard will produce over its lifetime more than 232,000 servings of food for people in need while sequestering carbon, reducing stormwater runoff and providing urban tree canopy.
Giving Grove co-founder Kevin Birzer, CEO of TortoiseEcofin and Giving Grove Board Chair, noted that the national Board sought partners for expansion that operate well-run organizations with proven track records of successfully serving their communities. Green Umbrella, in partnership with Common Orchard Project, fit the model well.
“We are delighted to partner with Green Umbrella and the Common Orchard Project to bring Giving Grove orchards to neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati,” Birzer said. “Green Umbrella’s commitment to vibrant, sustainable communities makes them a strong partner in our work.”
Green Umbrella executive director Ryan Mooney-Bullock sees the alignment between the Common Orchard Project and the organization’s existing efforts. “We are excited to support this simple yet elegant solution of transforming vacant lots in food-insecure neighborhoods into sources of greenspace, healthy food and community connection.”
The Common Orchard Project works to install and maintain hundreds of small orchard plantings across Greater Cincinnati and grows “commonly held” resources by educating communities on fresh food and urban land management. Founded in 2017 by Chris Smyth, the effort has since planted 10 orchards across Cincinnati and three in Cleveland. Smyth will continue to serve as the director of the project as it incubates within Green Umbrella and will plant more orchards each year thanks to Giving Grove’s support. Learn more about Common Orchard at www.commonorchard.com.
Giving Grove’s vision is thousands of little orchards in food insecure urban neighborhoods across the nation, creating a local food production system that feeds people for decades. Learn more at www.givinggrove.org.