The science is clear: We have about a decade to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. To do so, unprecedented action must be taken by citizens, students, governments, and leaders of industry. IDEAS For Us is an Orlando-based grassroots non-profit organization generating global environmental solutions through local action. Since 2008, their mission has been to develop ideas, fund initiatives, and scale solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. Over the years, IDEAS For Us has advanced sustainability including projects in energy, water, food, waste, ecology, and education. 

VoLo Foundation’s 2023 funding aided in highlighting sustainability leaders across Florida as the HERO-level contributor to their Bright IDEAS Solutions Showcase. 

Fleet Farming, one of IDEAS For Us’ programs, aims to transform the average American lawn into biodiverse, productive micro-farms and edible gardens. The initiative focuses on educating the next generation of sustainable urban farmers to combat environmental and social costs stemming from the agriculture industry, specifically focusing on Parramore and Pine Hills in Florida.   

In 2017, Fleet Farming moved its headquarters to the Parramore community in west-central Orlando. This community is a federally recognized food desert and is considered a “Promise Zone” where investments of nonprofits, taxpayer money, and federal programs prioritize helping right the wrongs of a marginalized past. This predominantly black community has historically faced challenges for over 150 years, and COVID-19 has further impacted the people of this community. Since 2018, Fleet Farming has worked with K-12 schools and the Orlando City Soccer Foundation to launch programs that will benefit and empower the community around food, farming, entrepreneurship, and healthy eating.   

In 2020, VoLo Foundation’s support of IDEAS For Us included a partnership with the Eco Club at Orange County Public Schools to help establish programming focused on conservation awareness and environmental stewardship within the school and community.  

Today, they strive to continue the next step in their STEM projects at Jones and Evans High Schools. These schools are considered Tier 1 and lack funding for their agricultural programs. Thanks to VoLo’s support, they expanded the robust possibilities of these two schools to educate students about farming and teach them real-world skills in food handling, food safety, and organic farming. 

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