Matthew 25

Matthew 25 is an Iowa-based nonprofit organization with a variety of programs to strengthen and transform neighborhoods through housing, education and food. To date, Matthew 25 has grown more than 30,000 pounds of food, helped 350 families through housing rehabilitation, loaned more than 5,000 tools to people who need them, served more than 4,000 youth through a wide variety of events and more.

Housing initiatives include the “Block by Block” program, which restored nearly 300 homes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after a massive flood in 2008, as well home energy audits and weatherizations to help make homes more energy efficient and reduce costs. “Transform Week” connects volunteers with homeowners to take on basic home maintenance projects and give access to a wide variety of home improvement and gardening tools they may otherwise be unable to afford.

Education initiatives include school partnerships and summer youth programs like “Cultivate Hope” which allows youth students ages 14 to 17 to work on an urban organic farm, serve their community and develop valuable job skills. Matthew 25 also provides tours of its urban farm, inviting people to learn about organic agriculture and environmental stewardship, and taste farm fresh produce.

In addition to the food education initiatives, Matthew 25 hosts a “Cultivate Hope Market” at which fresh, organic produce is sold at half price for income-qualified individuals, and a “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 gives area residents the ability to contribute whatever they are able to support their neighbors facing food insecurity. 

An award of $15,000 from Simply Organic in 2020 will support the café project.

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