April 15, 2019

Urban Vertical Farming Program is 2019 Innovation Fund Grant Recipient

Oakton, VA – The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia awards a $25,000 grant to the PHILLIPS Programs for Children and Families, a Fairfax-based nonprofit that serves the needs of individuals ages 6-22 with behavioral health needs and developmental disabilities and their families through education, family support services, community education and advocacy.

Community Foundation Phillips Check Ceremony 2019 04 11 v 15Edward Shanahan/Breakaway Images Photography

"We are so delighted to have the opportunity through the Innovation Fund Endowment to further explore models that increase economic success and the dignity of meaningful employment for young adults with behavioral health needs in our Northern Virginia communities." said Piper Phillips Casewell, president & CEO at PHILLIPS Programs.

The grant will be used to support the PHILLIPS school’s urban indoor vertical farm that grows fresh produce based on a current vertical farm operation at one of their school programs. The commercial kitchen immerses students in the professional atmosphere of restaurants, food service and catering. Through this innovative vertical farm program, students learn hands-on education and sustainability job skills, by teaching them how to cook the food they grow.

“This grant to support the PHILLIPS Programs is in perfect alignment with the core mission of the Innovation Fund,” said Eileen Ellsworth, president & CEO at the Community Foundation. “It allows us to support a social enterprise endeavor with a triple bottom line, including economic parity through an employee owned business for people with behavioral health needs that also contributes to the revitalization of a neighborhood in a disinvested community in a green industry that addresses food insecurity and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.”

About the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia:
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia helps grow local philanthropy to respond to critical need and seed innovation in the region. Comprised of donor advised funds, permanent funds, giving circles, and other charitable endowments, the Community Foundation connects donors to community and promotes a more equitable and inclusive prosperity that marries our economic strength with the full breadth of our diverse community.

In 2018 the Community Foundation awarded more than $7.1 million in grants and scholarships and now reports $66 million in managed philanthropic assets. For more information please visit us at www.cfnova.org on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CommunityFoundationforNOVA/,Twitter https://twitter.com/CFNova, and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/communityfoundationfornova/.

About PHILLIPS Programs
We are a private, nonprofit organization serving over 500 children and their families annually in the Washington metropolitan area. For more than 50 years, we have helped children where others could not — to ensure they reach their full potential.