Bounty & Soul receives $45,000 in funding from local foundations

Staff Reports
Heaven Valentine gleans produce from a field at North River Farms.

Bounty & Soul has received grants totaling $45,000 from The Community Foundation of WNC and WNC Bridge Foundation, founder Ali Casparian announced.

Community Foundation provided its $20,000 People in Need Grant to complement Bridge Foundation's $25,000 Impact Grant.

"We are incredibly grateful and excited to receive the generous support of these two outstanding foundations," Casparian said. "With the unprecedented increase in food insecurity, an economic crisis and a global focus on health, the investments in our core programs from CFWNC and WNC Bridge Foundation could not come at a better time.

Bounty & Soul has experienced a 187% increase in demand for its services since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

Grant funding will go directly to the Produce to the People program that works to meet the needs of the community by distributing "thousands of pounds" of nutritious food through weekly markets, The Farmers Alliance program which supports the delivery of donations and purchases from local farmers, growers and businesses and The Rooted in Health program that provides health and wellbeing educational resources through in-person, print and virtual platforms.

"The importance that fresh, healthy food plays in our neighbors' lives has never been more clear," WNC Bridge Foundation president and CEO Scott Buchanan said. "(The foundation) is pleased to partner with Bounty & Souls as they continue to provide and deliver not only nutritious food, but also valuable educational tools for our community."

Boxes of produce on display at Bounty & Soul's market.

WNC Bridge Foundation has "(acted) as a catalyst for change by helping eliminate barriers that prevent people from reaching their full potential" by funding local nonprofits for over 17 years. 

Community Foundation, established in 1978, "works to inspire philanthropy and mobilize resources to enrich lives throughout communities across 18 counties in Western North Carolina."

“CFWNC is pleased to support the work of Bounty & Soul," said senior program officer Virginia Dolalr. "Fresh nutritious food and opportunities for education and community are crucial to many whose lives continue to be impacted by the pandemic and resulting economic downturn."

Black Mountain-based Bounty & Soul is a nonprofit organization that connects, shares and celebrates nutritious food, education and community through weekly markets serving multiple counties. The organization is "committed to advancing equity in the food and health system and being a champion of change through their community-led model."