Eden Gives exists to create sustainable and secure food communities. For the past 12 years, we have distributed food weekly to more than 300,000 families in southeastern Michigan with a focus on Detroit.
Through our weekly food distribution program we have come to understand the power of stable and sustainable food in homes which now informs the next phase of our work.
Eden Gives is committed to collaboration and partnership as we do our work in communities. Empowering people at every level fuels the collective ideas that bring results. We know from experience that the people who know best how to revitalize a community are the people who live in it.
Our role is to bring their ideas to life and connect them to resources to accomplish their goals.
four fold model to creating food security
Step 1: Food Relief
Eden Gives mission is to create food secure communities by creating abundance of food through a varieties of ways. Our Approach is four-fold. The first step is to offer food relief when needed. In communities where food is scarce, food relief is often a necessary first step as it creates weekly food security for families allowing them to focus on better jobs, transportation and housing. Food relief is a good first step and our experience has taught us that families who receive relief along with friendship and a sense of community are strengthened in their capacity to make positive change in their lives.
Step 2: Community Assessment
The second step is to create food security in communities is to assess the level of food security. This is done through data procurement, engagement of people in the community and analysis of all data. For instance if the community assessment reveals that there is little to no engagement from people living in the community then we direct our efforts in building a sense of community and connecting people who are interested in working together to create a food secure community. If there is excellent engagement we meet with community leaders and share resources that can be implemented immediately for the benefit of the community and allow them to develop a strategy that we help resource.
Step 3: Community Growing
After the assessment is complete we offer gardening and farming options. Coordinating community gardens that not only create food for families but also can be sold to continually fund the growing of food that creates food security is one resource we offer.
Step 4: Small Farming Business
The last resource we offer communities is to offer small indoor hydroponic growing farming business opportunities to those who want to own a business. These farms create depth of food resource in communities and also increase the local economy through business development.
OUR TEAM & BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Shonda works in the community everyday. Making sure those in need will never go without. Shonda was board member for several year’s prior to becoming the new CEO. She is married with four children. From New York lives in Michigan
Viet Nam veteran, married, two children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren, lives in Riverside California. President/CEO of the Weed For Warriors Project Inland Empire Chapter and now west coast COO of 420WFV, Veterans Advocate, Cannabis Advocate, Community Outreach Specialist .
Naice Bell is a retired surgical nurse, so it’s no surprise that she enjoys helping others. As a member of Plymouth United Church of Christ, she initially joined the food ministry. Her service has moved outside the church, and she has now been volunteering to help provide families in need with food for nearly two years.
Naice is married to Detroit Police Commissioner Willie Bell, and their two adult daughters, Ashanti and Ayobami, work alongside her volunteering. She also gets some occasional help from her two young grandchildren. Naice picks up, packs boxes, and makes deliveries twice a week regularly regardless of the weather. Naice also enjoys sharing her ideas for preparing meals out of the donated food with residents. Born and raised in Hernando, Mississippi, she’s still a southerner at heart, and cooking is one of her favorite past times. Now, she’s helping ensure more families have food to eat and have healthier options.
Ayobami Bell Torrence
Ayobami Bell Torrence has been volunteering with the food program for two years. She is married with two children and understands the importance of providing healthy meals to families. As a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Ayobami is no stranger to volunteering and providing community service. She loves this project because, in addition to providing food, it also offers fresh and healthy options that many people cannot always afford.
Like her mother, Naice, she started with the food ministry at Plymouth United Church of Christ. Since that time, she has committed to volunteering once a week. She has also helped connect families at Chrysler Elementary to the program. She takes pride in being part of the positive efforts taking place within this non-profit and looks forward to continuing and reaching more families and residents in the future.