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Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program

Published: September 27, 2012
Refugee Agricultural 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 RAPP 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,

List of New Grantees – FY2016 

IRC Seattle WA 9/29/19 $100,000.00 Tyler George-Minetti
International Rescue Committee Sacramento CA 9/29/19 $99,681.00 Lisa Welze
Journey's End Refugee Services Buffalo NY 9/29/19 $100,000.00 Beth Drouhard
International Rescue Committee Charlottesville VA 9/29/19 $100,000.00 Brooke Ray
434-979-7772 x115
Lutheran Social Services of Colorado Albuquerque NM 9/29/19 $99,997.00 Tarrie Burnett
Catholic Charities of Louisville Louisville KY 9/29/19 $94,987.00 Laura Stevens
502-873-2566 x256
Association of Africans Living in Vermont Burlington VT 9/29/19 $98,312.00 Yacouba Bogre
International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis St. Louis MO 9/29/19 $100,000.00 Suzanne LeLaurin
314-773-9090 x150
International Rescue Committee Tucson AZ 9/29/19 $100,000.00 Katrina Martinez
USCRI Cleveland OH 9/29/19 $100,000.00 Karin Wishner
216-781-4560 x5010
Global Growers Network, Inc. Avondale Estates GA 9/29/19 $99,979.00 Barret Smith
404-254-6175 x705
Catholic Social Services, Inc. Anchorage AK 9/29/19 $90,000.00 Jessica Kovarik
Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment Syracuse NY 9/29/19 $99,655.00 Brandy Colebrook
Pacific Gateway Center Honolulu HI 9/29/19 $100,000.00 Terrina Wong
Southside Community Land Trust Providence RI 9/29/19 $99,825.00 Andrew Cook
401-273-9419 x109

Funding Opportunities

Contact Information

Yimeem Vu
RAPP Program Manager
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and Families
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW
Washington DC 20201
Phone: 202.401.4825
Fax: 202.401.5487
Email: yimeem.vu@acf.hhs.gov

Last Reviewed: May 14, 2018