Collective Roots Merger F.A.Q.
Q. Who is Collective Roots?
Collective Roots is a non-profit organization based in East Palo Alto, CA working to increase healthy, local food access and community based nutrition education. Since it’s founding in 2000, Collective Roots has offered multiple food access, food justice, and community-based gardening projects. These include the East Palo Alto Community Farmers Market, located at the Ravenswood Family Health Center, and the Collective Gardening Network that provides resources for community members to grow their own food.
Q. How did this merger come about?
After working to rebuild and strengthen their organization over the last few years, Collective Roots felt the time was right to assess their future and determine how they could more effectively and sustainably serve the community. They determined that they could create a greater impact and more sustainable future by joining forces with another organization, and Fresh Approach was an ideal partner due to our very similar mission and values.
Q. What will be the overall gain for the community?
By combining our operations with Collective Roots and reducing overhead costs, we will be able to ensure more dollars go directly to vital programming (due to economies of scale), serve a larger population, as well as increase our effectiveness and long-term impact through collaboration and sharing of best practices.
Q. What will happen to the Collective Roots programs?
The combined entity, Fresh Approach, plans to keep Collective Roots’ programming “as is,” operating as the Collective Roots project of EPA under Fresh Approach.
Fresh Approach is maintaining Collective Roots’ programming, as well as its East Palo Alto office headquarters. Both Raffaella Cerruti, Collective Roots’ Program & Communications Director, and Najiha Al Asmar, Manager of Community Initiatives, will continue as employees of Fresh Approach, running the Collective Roots’ project.
Q. Will the merger affect the East Palo Alto Community Farmers’ Market?
No, Fresh Approach plans to keep the EPA Community Farmers’ Market and its accompanying matching programs the same as they have been managed in the past few years by Collective Roots.
Q. What will the new organization look like?
The Executive Director of Fresh Approach, Lucy Norris, will continue as the Executive Director of the combined entity. Collective Roots will continue operations as-is, with a greater integration with the other programs of Fresh Approach.