Matthew 25

Matthew 25 is an Iowa-based non-profit working to empower people to transform neighborhoods through housing, education and food. To date, Matthew 25 has grown 30,000 pounds of food, helped 350 families through housing rehabilitation, loaned 5,000 tools to people who need them, and served 4,000 youth who have attended events at Groundswell, a community gathering space and youth arts venue. 

Housing initiatives include the “Block by Block” program which restored nearly 300 homes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after a massive flood in 2008 and performed home energy audits and weatherizations that help make homes more energy efficient and reduce heating and cooling costs. “Transform Week” connects volunteers with homeowners to take on basic home maintenance projects, and a tool library gives people access to a wide variety of tools for home and garden projects that they might otherwise be unable to afford. 

Education initiatives include school partnerships and summer youth programs like “Cultivate Hope,” which allows students ages 14 to 17 to work on an urban organic farm, serve their community and develop valuable job skills. The program has a goal of reaching 15,000 people in 2019. Matthew 25 also provides tours of its urban farm, which has grown about 30,000 pounds of food to date. The tours invite people to learn about organic agriculture and environmental stewardship, taste farm-fresh produce and more.

Matthew 25 also hosts the “Cultivate Hope Market” at which organic produce is sold at half price for income-qualified individuals, and runs the “Cultivate Hope Community Gardens Program” in which recent immigrants and other community members connect by gardening together.

Finally, Matthew 25’s Groundswell Pay-it-Forward Café gives people access to healthy, organic food and serves as a job training space for youth struggling to find employment. The café hopes to become self-sustaining so that 20% (approximately 2,700 meals) are given away each year. Simply Organic's 2020 grant of $15,000 was directed toward this café project.

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