THE CENTER FOR FOOD EQUITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport

The Center for Food Equity and Economic Development of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport builds community wealth through innovative food-based initiatives. Originally the Council’s main function was to lend monetary and operational support to 40 emergency food distribution sites throughout the Greater Bridgeport area, but we realized our efforts were not addressing the underlying causes of food insecurity. In 2015, we made a key shift in our programming to focus on economic development based initiatives within the food industry that builds assets and wealth within the Bridgeport community and for area residents. We now operate a successful culinary course, CREATE, that provides culinary training to low-income Bridgeport and area residents for food industry employment and entrepreneurial ventures; a shared-use commercial kitchen program that offers low-cost rental space housed within churches called Salt of the Earth Enterprise Kitchens (SEEK); and are transitioning food pantries and soup kitchens into hybrid retail and donation environments with a commitment to community input through an initiative called FEED.

Seek

Seek graphic, click below to enter the Seek section

A shared-use commercial kitchen and business support program housed in area churches that offers low-cost hourly rent.

Create

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A culinary training program for area residents to support food-based business development and food industry employment.

Feed

Feed graphic, click below to enter the Feed section

An innovative and evidence-based approach to emergency food distribution programs that put health, customer engagement, and equity at the center.

VALUES

Food is a basic human right that emergency food distribution programs do not have the capacity to guarantee. While food insecurity is a persistent problem for Bridgeport area residents, the solution is not simply distributing donated products. The solution is financial stability through gainful employment, business development, and asset building.

MISSION

To build community wealth through food-based initiatives that offer living wage employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to residents.

VISION

A thriving food-based economy in which residents are employed as food entrepreneurs, culinary or food industry employees, and food retailers.