Alchemist CDC
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Organization Details

Programs

Description
Alchemist CDC is partnering with community residents to re-imagine community spaces and reclaim previously blighted spaces by transforming them into community assets.
Current land-based revitalization projects include:

Pansy Community Garden Park: a community-supported and designed effort to reclaim a previously refuse-strewn lot in a residential block of south Sacramento. Alchemist CDC and partners administered surveys door-to-door, held community events and carried out one-on-one interviews with residents. The result was a design for a mixed-use public gathering space. The design includes a teaching garden, picnic area, a playground, and the opportunity for programming that focuses on health, environment and community building.

Oak Park Art Garden: This project is utilizing a land lease agreement with an option to buy to gain access; the property is privately owned. Families and residents from Oak Park and surrounding neighborhoods have been invited to join us for wide array of interactive art and garden projects that will begin the transformation of this high visibility corner lot in the heart of Oak Park. Fruit trees were planted in early 2019 and this will become Sacramento's first publicly accessible Community Food Forest project.

34th Street Off-ramp: Working within the CalTrans Adopt-A-Highway program for the neighborhood-lead transformation of this gateway location. Project goals include:
low maintenance, habitat design developed through resident input; ongoing maintenance and upkeep managed by Alchemist and neighborhood stewardship team; Working with District 5 City Council office to explore possibility of a public art/"Welcome to Oak Park" project in the space.

Broadway Sol Community Garden: This is a publicly accessible community garden. This garden grew out of a neighborhood desire to have a creative green space that could serve as a place to grow food, demonstrate sustainable practices, share knowledge and build community connectivity. Available at the garden: 15 individually owned garden plots (including limited mobility raised beds); Outdoor kitchen and community gathering space (available for community use); Children's garden/creativity space; Grape arbor and pond "sitting space"; Secure tool shed; Community composting area; Art Fence; Perennial flower and herb beds

Budget
$91,500
Program Successes
Alchemist CDC received site design approval and broke ground on the Pansy Community Garden Park project in 2018; Oak Park Art Garden had its first mural installation and fruit tree planting in early 2019; 34th Street Off-ramp agreements have been finalized with CalTrans in early 2019; Broadway Sol Community Garden continues to operate sustainably with active gardener and community participation.
Description
Alchemy Kitchen is a food business incubator which supports local food entrepreneurs by offering needed resources such as low-cost access to a licensed commercial kitchen, assistance complying with food safety regulations, business planning support and opportunities to grow their local food business successfully. Alchemy Kitchen focuses on connecting low-income food entrepreneurs to local farmers for sourcing ingredients.
Budget
$181,000
Program Successes
In 2016, Alchemist CDC received a Local Food Promotion Program Planning Grant which was one of only 19 given out nationwide. Under this grant we completed a feasibility analysis and business plan.
In 2018, Alchemist received the Promise Zone Financial Institutions Partnership Opportunity grant for implementation of the Alchemy Kitchen project. The pilot cohort applications for the AMA program opened in Spring 2019.
Description
Alchemist CDC operates CalFresh payment processing at 10 Sacramento area farmers' markets (CalFresh provides qualifying lower income individuals financial assistance in purchasing food for themselves and their families.). This program brings equitable access to farmers' markets by providing systems necessary for CalFresh/Food Stamps recipients to use their benefits to buy fresh, healthy, local produce. This program also adds to local farmers' direct sales and stimulates attendance at farmers' markets, enhancing the local economy. We also offer CalFresh enrollment application assistance at our farmers' market CalFresh booths.
Budget
$102,000
Program Successes
-In the United States in FY2017, Alchemist's partner markets accounted for 1.6% of SNAP (food stamps-known as CalFresh in California) spent at all farmers' markets nationwide!
-Over $250,000 of CalFresh was issued to low-income shoppers at farmers' markets where Alchemist CDC facilitates CalFresh processing. Our markets contributed a significant portion of the $15.69 million of SNAP funds spent at farmers' markets last year. This, despite only accounting for 11 of the 3,642 farmers' markets (0.3%) that accept SNAP for payment.
-On October 11, 2018 we set a new record for transactions at a single market day with 191 transactions at the Florin Farmers' Market!
-11 of the 15 highest transactions at a single market (since the program began in 2011) came in 2018 at Florin Market!
Description
Market Match is an incentive program offered to CalFresh (food stamp) recipients to motivate them to eat more fruits and vegetables, and helps stretch their food budget, while also supporting regional farmers. Alchemist CDC provides Market Match funds, outreach support and Market Match operations training at 18 farmers' markets and farm stands in Sacramento and Yolo Counties. When someone spends their CalFresh benefits at these markets, they receive extra funds in the form of vouchers to buy fresh produce. (Maximum Market Match offered per person per market day varies by location, between $5-$20). By spending more of their CalFresh benefits with California growers, these funds help support our farmer families and local economy. Bringing more funds to our farmers' markets makes them more sustainable, which has a positive economic impact in the surrounding community as a whole.
Budget
$122,200
Program Successes
At a total of 18 farmers' markets and farm stands, Alchemist CDC facilitated over $90,000 in Market Match distributed to low-income families last year to spend with our small-midsize regional farmers, injecting even more dollars into the local economy and providing low-income families access to affordable fresh and healthy, local produce.
Description
Over the past three years, Alchemist has had two different private partners fund pilot Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Programs to promote fruit and vegetable consumption to their clinic patients via farmers' market vouchers. We are currently seeking funding and implementation partners to expand this program and add more robust evidence-based tracking of health outcomes. This program serves to engage patients in their own prevention and treatment through healthy eating by utilizing the strong "Farm-to-Fork" movement in Sacramento. The clinicians and wellness educators give patients "prescriptions" to purchase fresh produce from farmers' markets. Patients "fill their prescriptions" at Alchemist's Cal-Fresh booths at participating farmers markets by exchanging them for vouchers for free produce at the market. Patients then return to the clinic office for additional "prescriptions" and follow up nutrition education and wellness programs.
Budget
$6,000
Program Successes
In 2018, 15 individuals took advantage of the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program through a partnering health agency. Each participant received $10 to spend at farmers' markets on healthy, fresh, local produce. We look forward to developing additional partnerships with health providers in order to expand this program in the future.