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Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program

Published: September 27, 2012
Refugee Agricultral Partnership Program (RAPP)

“It’s a model for the nation, for the world”

--First Lady Michelle Obama, on her April 15, 2010 visit to the New Roots Community Farm in San Diego,
a program developed by RAPP grantee the International Rescue Committee of San Diego

A focus of the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP) is to integrate refugees into the movement sweeping across the United States, to improve the supply and quality of food in urban and rural areas. Refugees—as potential farmers or producers of healthier foods—can make a big impact in their own families and communities at large, bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to the table, and strengthening their own health and well being.

RAPP has evolved into a program with multiple objectives that include creating supplemental and often sustainable income for families, providing an adequate supply of healthy foods in a community, supporting better physical and mental health, encouraging greater community integration, and developing the capacity of organizations to access programs offered by the USDA and other federal services and resources.

There is widespread interest among refugee and other community based organizations across this country in participating in this movement. By promoting community and school gardens, small acreage farming, farm to school programs, and health and nutrition classes, refugee farmers and gardeners achieve better utilization of farmers markets to purchase or even sell fresh produce. They also cooperate with local food banks to provide better access to fresh produce for other refugee families living in places with an inadequate number of healthy food outlets, areas known as food deserts.

The Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program encourages partnerships at all levels. ORR’s partnership with USDA (USDA.gov) has improved understanding and access to USDA programs and resources, by organizations serving refugees and refugees themselves. A link to RAPP is on the “Know Your Farmer Know Your Food” blog site.

Collaboration with private foundations and other organizations has helped incorporate refugees into the mainstream of the sustainable food movement. Local organizations have been effective because of their ability to adapt to the unique challenges and opportunities of their individual communities, and because of multiple partnerships and collaboration with Cooperative Extension and other public and private organizations.

To learn more about what happened in 2011, read the RAPP Annual Report for 2011 (DOC 35KB).

Be part of the RAPP network!

Join the RAP-P listserve, with more than 230 subscribers across the country, sharing tips, success stories, and more information about their agricultural projects—with, for and by refugees! Also be sure to check out ORR’s technical assistance partner,

ISED Solutions, for tutorials and other information, available at www.isedsolutions.org/projects/rapp.

List of New Grantees - FY2014

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of St. Mary of Addis Tampa FL 9/29/16 $84,843 Berhanu Bekele
2418 86th St. South Tampa FL 33619-4919
Pacific Gateway Center Honolulu HI 9/29/16 $83,990 Tin Myaing Thien
83 North King St. Honolulu HI 96817-5003
Lutheran Services in Iowa Des Moines IA  9/29/16 $85,000 Nicholas Wuertz
3125 Cottage Grove Ave Des Moines, IA 50311-3809
Journeys End Refugee Services Buffalo NY 9/29/16 $85,000 Molly Short
2495 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14214
International Rescue Committee, Inc (Charlottesville) New York NY 9/29/16 $85,000 Gerrard Khan
122 E. 42nd St. 12th floor New York, NY 10168-1289
International Rescue Committee, Inc (New York) New York NY 9/29/16 $85,000 Gerrard Khan
122 E. 42nd St. 12th floor New York, NY 10168-1289
International Rescue Committee, Inc (Oakland) New York NY 9/29/16 $85,000 Gerrard Khan
122 E. 42nd St. 12th floor New York, NY 10168-1289
The Refugee Response Cleveland OH 9/29/16 $85,000 Julie Griffiths
101 West Prospect Ave. Suite 1600 Cleveland, OH 44115-1027
Southside Community Land Trust Providence RI 9/29/16 $85,000 Margaret DeVos
109 Somerset St. Providence, RI 02907-1031
Somali Bantu Community Development Councils of South Dakota Sioux Falls SD 9/29/16 $81,540 Abdullahi Sidow
301 S. Garfield Ave Suite # 6 Sioux Falls, SD 57104-3140
Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee Nashville TN 9/29/16 $85,000 Marielle Lovecchio
295 Plus Park Blvd. Suite 102 Nashville, TN 37217-1093

Funding Opportunities

Contact Information

Yimeem Vu
RAPP Program Manager
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and Families
901 D Street, SW
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: 202.401.4825
Fax: 202.401.5487
Email: yimeem.vu@acf.hhs.gov

Last Reviewed: November 18, 2016