Plow to Plate
We remain dedicated to Puerto Rico.
World Central Kitchen is committed to reducing the high rate of food insecurity that exists in Puerto Rico by supporting and partnering with smallholder farms, agricultural organizations, and small businesses in the food economy through direct funding grants.
After serving nearly 4 million meals in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, WCK conducted an agricultural assessment of Puerto Rico and determined that the best way to continue “feeding an island” was by supporting Puerto Rico’s smallholder farmers. Our Plow To Plate program aims to increase food security in Puerto Rico by providing funding, training, and networking opportunities to smallholder farmers and businesses that support local agriculture.
In 2018, our goal was to help many of these entities revitalize their operations after Hurricane María and begin to regrow their long-term capacity for food production, distribution, and sales.
Going forward, we will help our grantees contribute to a system-wide increase in food security, sustainability, and resiliency against future disasters. We aim to strengthen the overall food economy and affect a lasting decrease in the island's high rate of food imports.
In addition to grants, Plow to Plate offers our partner grantees access to a variety of networking and learning opportunities in the areas of agriculture and core business skills that help get their products to market. WCK connects interested grantees with visitors to the island who wish to volunteer on the farms to provide crucial human capital and form part of a growing agro-tourism industry.
WCK has committed $4 million to Plow to Plate in Puerto Rico through 2023, and we are now working to expand the program into other countries.
THROUGH PLOW TO PLATE, WCK SUPPORTS:
Increased production for smallholder farmers, like Abner Santiago, an agro-ecological farmer from Finca El Reverdecer who used Plow to Plate funding to build an off-grid walk-in cooler, rebuild greenhouses, and purchase tools and implements that have brought his food production levels back up 110% from the hurricane.
Women in agriculture: Over 20 of the 35 projects are women-led or co-led, like La MicroFinca, a farm led by Tadilka Rivera. Tadilka built a cold-storage unit with help from WCK where she can now store her greens, peppers, and root crops to sell at farmers’ markets, restaurants, and CSAs.
Technology and innovation in agriculture, like Grupo Vesan, the first indoor vertical farming enterprise in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. WCK funds helped them purchase monitoring and lighting equipment for the controlled environment that allows them to grow produce year-round without the use of pesticides, and be highly resilient against the impacts of future natural disasters.