The Kindling Foundation Announces Our 2008 Gift

This October, we chose our first grant recipient, People's Grocery ( in Oakland California. This gift was tremendously exciting for us for two reasons.

The first and foremost cause for our excitement is People's Grocery itself. The organization is small but powerful and is working tirelessly to correct a shameful injustice right in our own community. West Oakland, just miles from where many of us live, is a neighborhood of more than 50,000 low income, mostly African American resident. West Oaklanders have access to more than 50 liquor stores but not a single supermarket or even a place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Is it any wonder that diabetes and other nutrition-related diseases are rampant in communities like this one?

As the Kindling Foundation seeks to recognize the interconnectedness of our local and global communities, we are especially concerned about such an obvious oversight of the human rights of a large group of people living in our own backyard.

People's Grocery is restoring this basic right of healthy food to West Oakland by providing farmer's markets, cooking classes and discounted organic food boxes to this community. They even have ambitious plans to build a for-profit, full-sized supermarket in West Oakland.

The work of People's Grocery has been a model for similar efforts in several cities around the country and is proving to be a cornerstone of a growing movement.

Beyond the great work of our grantee, this year's gift was also a cause for celebration in that it marked the culmination of six years of planning, dreaming and experimenting within the Kindling community. At the end of 2007, we began our inaugural giving cycle by choosing a Gifting Committee and a Board. By going through the full process of researching, reaching consensus on a recipient and finally giving, we did, with a small group of members, what we are now confident we can do with a much larger community.

We are currently in the process of inviting several new members to join us as we kick off our second giving cycle.

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