top of page

CAFE Meeting 10/18/23

Coalition Meeting Notes

CAFÉ Coalition Notes

Meeting: #4

Date:18 Oct 2023

Working Group Attendees: 

  • Jan Ross

  • Manny Patole

  • Caitlyn Scales

  • Allie Schleter

  • David Aguillard

  • Chris Spalatin(?)

  • Kelli Rogers

  • C Briley

  • Casey Phillips

  • Helena Williams

  • Sheretta Harrison

  • Pepper Roussel

Aspirational statement: Decrease the number of individuals in the Capital Region experiencing food insecurity


Promote collaboration across organizations and working groups



Catholic Charities: have been involved in goals 1,, 2, and 4. Have been picking up USDA food and started distributing food out of the office on Acadian. Quickly went from a few hundred to 1000+ but didn't’ have the capacity. WIth the backing of BR Food Bank and Feeding America, have discovered 4M#/year of food goes to waste. Just purchased a warehouse last week, still need refrigeration units, but will start picking up food and 1029 Corsey Bld. then will call in all the 120+ food bank partners so they can pick up the food and bring it back to local sites. Want it to be manageable.

2. Go to places, bring the food to palace that are underserved and expand access to USDA products from food bank. Serve the 12 parishes of the diocese of BR. There are 6 parishes that are food insecure. Want to enrol pp in SNAP. Essential that we develop partnerships to make this work

Driven by 

Volunteerism - have seen other places and almost exclusively run by volunteers. This will limit or increase ability to reach most vulnerable ares

Funding - starting with 1 truck, but the more trucks the more access to more places. The more equipment means more capacity.

These programs tend to grow faster than can manage. As word gets out, more food will come. Need partnerships, collaboration. Should be able to access national grants that exemplify partnerships and community buy in. Are new to the food distribution scene and would like help and support.

Hub and spoke model. To be a part of that need what? Existing food bank partners are first. The USDA food has guidelines. The food rescue program is for the commu ities to distribute as needd. Need a location, staffed by volunteers (drivers, those familiar with warehouse operations), etc. 

Need LDH certification, need insulation repairs done. Won’t be ready by the holidays. Need to select, install and learn how to use an inventory system. Will be fully engaged by end of January. Pointe COupee and St. Helena are not currently being served. Need to know what can be done and where help is needed.

May be able to connect volunteers from CAFÉ


 Teach to grow



There is a gap between local food production and the access. Recall there is an aging farmer population. Want to ensure there is a a new “crop” of farmers through a pipeline so folk can know how to get starteed with farming as a career

What partners can we connect between BRAEDA and BatonRoots?

Experienced farmers - Farm Bureau contacts in St. James Parish have advanced a new initiative to engage/support farmers in Washington Parish. Mitchel may now be able to enter the conversation. Creating an issue based team for those things that dont fit in other coalitions

Just traditional farming??? No; issues based is to addressed issues the farmers are not used to. The traditional commodity farms, food growing we eat farms, small farms, are the target.

Action Items: 

  1. Action Item 1

No update from Dean Andrews (SU) and Monica Brown (DCFS). The point was to have Southern Capstone students to study the gap at different governmental agencies 

  1. Action Item 2

Greater collaboration and promotion of the resources we all have. Teaching youth to advocate to adult family members in getting the support  they need to ensure there is a manageable way make sure ← No owner

  1. Action Item 3 Teach to Grow

Wanting to find a pathway to mentor farmers and those coming out og Baton Roots education program. Conversation is still early in BRAEDA and Baton Roots have talked and will be moving forward soon. Need to ensure this is socio-economically accessible to all folks


  • small teams and trying to add thi son while moving other initiatives forward, 

  • technical expertise around farmer business development 

NOTE: Baton Roots has the ag knowledge but not the business component, 

  • access to land

Some large scale commodity farmers who are small holders may be a good target

Upcoming events and activities: 

TOP has Empower 225 in Howell ParK and Ascent Project scheduling some meaningful community based activities. Also a food distribution with the families and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Howell Fest is coming up. AHA updated some recipe books that will be included in the giveaway boxes.

Sow Good Saturday is coming up in November 4 10a-12p. Also have volunteer events Thusday afternoon and Friday morning. Hibiscus season.

Baton Rouge Garden Alliance still mapping. Sharing a Google form to accept locations of those gardens even if it isn’t yours.


And if folks want a guest speaker, I am working with Prof Shivers at NYU on another project called Critical Voices to send events and info

BRAEDA Exxn Mobile YMCA just reopened. 11/2 DaY OF THE Dead at Pennington. WIl get some samples. Tuesday Market that week have Halloween week Do SNAP match up to $50 at all the markets. Anyone with FMNC can bring back voucher for $50. 

BRAC Business development for farmers is specialized. SBDC 10/30 meeting and Chris SPalatin will bring up the development ideas. SULC is having a workshop at the Downtown library. 

Bakery Opportunities for interns and/or data science for the group. Center for Urban Science and Urban Democracy Lab at NYU. For digital help please holler Last year had a student who digitized the locations of urban farms


6 views0 comments


bottom of page