See Beautiful Grant
Helpings of Hope is in the running for a grant from this unique and exciting organization, “See Beautiful.” Here is the blog from their website about who we are and what we do.
The feature below is brought to you by Helpings of Hope, an organization that is in the running to receive a See Beautiful Grant. For more information about all of our giving initiatives, please click here.
To learn more about Hope Shines, please visit their website: here.
Helpings of Hope and See Beautiful Partnership.
Hello to everyone in the See Beautiful Community! Thank you so much for the invitation to be a guest blogger on your website! We are thrilled to share the mission and vision of Helpings of Hope and for us to be given an opportunity to be considered for the See Beautiful grant.
Let’s sit down together at our community table in our community cafe. I will pour you a cup of tea as we share a meal together and we can chat about what Helpings of Hope is all about. Shall we?
In our time together, we will get to know each other…. our hopes and dreams, the names of our children, where they go to school, we can listen to each other’s life stories, what we want for our children and grandchildren and perhaps share a recipe or two on how to make the best peanut butter pie.
It doesn’t matter where you come from. You can be an attorney, a single mom, a refugee or immigrant, a six-year-old child coloring in a coloring book, or a homeless man coming in from the cold wanting a warm cup of coffee. It doesn’t matter…because you are treated with respect and dignity here at Helpings Café.
Helpings of Hope “sees beautiful” in every human being regardless of where they are in their lives. The mere fact that you are born a human being places you in the higher echelon of our world and for that reason alone we celebrate you! As you may have gathered from us chatting, we are all about community. We are passionate about our Indianapolis community and believe that every human being has the right to good nutritious food.
In reality, we have a food gap going on in our city and state. One in seven people in the state of Indiana are food insecure meaning, they do not know where their next meal is coming from. It is a little higher for our children with one in four Hoosier children being food insecure. Indianapolis is located in Marion County which has the highest overall food insecurity rate in the state.
According to the Immigrant Law Center, our immigrant and refugee neighbors suffer more from food in-security. Children in immigrant households suffer more from economic hardship and food insecurity than other children. A disproportionately low number of immigrants receive food stamps. While non-citizens represent 8.8 percent of the U.S. population, only 4 percent of all food stamp recipients are non-citizens. Indianapolis rank’s number one in food deserts meaning it has low income areas where large parts of the population live more than a half mile or a mile from a grocery store.
Helpings of Hope is dedicated to eliminating hunger and food waste. We also create food security through community-driven projects that provide affordable, nutritious food for people in areas that would be considered food deserts. We have three vision areas that address our mission: community gardens, food and nutrition education and our goal to open a community café.
In an Indianapolis area called Nora, there is a large immigrant and refugee population. Over one hundred different languages are spoken in this area. Many of the immigrants have come from developing countries and are trying to make a new life for themselves and their families. Many have seen the atrocities of violence, poverty, government corruption in their own countries and have fled. Many have lived for years in refugee camps.
By an absolute miracle, they have been awarded visas to come to the U.S. Can you imagine a person who has lived in a developing country plopped right down in the middle of this urban city? They never been to an American grocery store and do not know how navigate the bus system, let alone function in this new-found life. Plus they are dealing with the trauma from which they have just escaped. These beautiful people are strong, determined and brave. We are honored to help with their transition to our city.
With funding secured from See Beautiful, Helpings of Hope plans to help our immigrant and refugee neighbors transition into American culture by providing Cooking Matters classes which promote healthy affordable eating. We plan to become an implementation partner with Share Our Strength, part of the No Kid Hungry Campaign to provide these cooking classes.
Our goal is to invite graduates from the Cooking Matters classes to garden with us at our community garden thus providing them an opportunity to be even more self-sufficient.
It takes all of us creating community together to make beautiful things happen.
Like we said, it takes all of us creating community together to make beautiful things happen. Which brings me to our last vision area which is our goal of starting the first community café in Indianapolis Helpings Café. Actually, it’s where you’re sitting right now. But first let me offer you desert. Do you want some whipped cream on that peanut butter pie?
Helpings Café is not a soup kitchen, but a not-for-profit restaurant that utilizes fresh organic, locally grown produce (provided by Nora Community Garden) using a pay-what-you-can menu. As you look around, there are no name tags that say, “I’m food insecure.” Instead, you see people eating great food and having a good time.
I’m so happy you were able to stop by and share a meal and get to know us better. We need to all work together and that’s why we have reached out to the See Beautiful Community to be an active partner (co-creators if you will) in this endeavor. We believe in giving people a “hand-up instead of a hand-out,” where all are welcomed regardless of where they are at in life, economic condition or ability to pay for a meal.