Category Archives: Announcements

It’s GO Time for INMED Aquaponics® in Leesburg

November 4, 2022 (Leesburg, VA): The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) has awarded INMED Partnerships for Children a grant to implement its special brand of aquaponics for food production in a low-income community of Leesburg, VA.

Through its Get Outdoors Fund (GO), the VOF supports projects that increase equitable access to safe open space in Virginia’s communities. The intent of the program is to serve as a flexible, adaptable tool for addressing communities’ needs, such as access to locally produced foods and clean and safe environments for recreation and work.

INMED is introducing aquaponics, plus home and community gardening, to strengthen food security among low-income residents of the Leesburg Mobile Home Park (LMHP) while promoting environmental education and access to outdoor space. Aquaponics combines aquaculture and hydroponics in a closed, symbiotic system that uses 90% less water and produces up to 10 times more in the same space as conventional agriculture, while eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.

“INMED has been strengthening food security, environmental conservation, climate adaptation and sustainable livelihoods through aquaponics in vulnerable communities around the world for more than a decade,” says Jennifer Smith, INMED’s U.S. Programs Director. “We’re excited to now offer this impactful program in the U.S.” Sterling, VA-based INMED USA will lead the project.

“Access to nutritious food and safe open space are key to healthy communities, and we are excited to be supporting both through this grant,” says Brett Glymph, Executive Director of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. “We believe the program will have immediate and lasting impacts on the community it serves.”

A community aquaponics garden planned for the LMHP will provide fresh, all-natural produce to the families year-round, supplemented by nutrition education, wellness workshops, fitness classes and other resources the families need to narrow health equity and food security gaps. “We are excited to offer all the support and services we provide at our Sterling Opportunity Center to the residents of the Loudoun Mobile Home Park right in their own backyard,” says Smith.

The LMHP community is home to 130 low-income families that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and skyrocketing inflation. INMED USA has been working closely with the new property owner, David Gregory, to improve conditions and opportunities for the community.

For more information about INMED USA, visit https://inmedusa.org. For more information about the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, visit https://vof.org

Photos available upon request: nbaker@inmed.org.

Family non-profit receives large donation of baby equipment, supplies

 

While one Leesburg nonprofit has decided to close its doors, another local nonprofit plans to carry on its mission.

It Takes a Village, Baby, an organization that has served families in need for six years, has donated its baby equipment and supplies to INMED Opportunity Center in Sterling.

“It Takes a Village, Baby has been a long-time partner with the INMED Opportunity Center and INMED’s Healthy Families Loudoun program,” said Jennifer Lassiter Smith, Director of U.S. Programs for INMED Partnerships for Children in a prepared statement. “When ITAVB made the hard choice to close, it made sense for INMED USA to carry on the legacy and mission of ensuring babies in our region get a healthy start in life.”

The INMED Opportunity Center serves more than 100 mothers each week, who desperately need car seats, diapers and other essential supplies that the group received as a gift from It Takes a Village, Baby, she said.

INMED’s Opportunity Center has become a county-wide hub of resources, education and services for low-income families struggling to make ends meet.

“We’re serving more families than ever that have lost employment, have limited access to healthcare and are relying on the kindness of their neighbors to help them get back on track,” said Smith.

“While it’s sad to close our doors at It Takes a Village, Baby, we are thankful our remaining resources can continue to help the community,” said Lauren Smith, cofounder of ITAVB. “The generous donations from families in Loudoun and Fairfax counties have allowed us to help thousands of families in need, and now INMED can continue that mission.”

All baby equipment and supplies are free of charge to families in need. For information on how to access these and other resources at the INMED Opportunity Center, contact Rosa Tobar, INMED USA Community Outreach Coordinator, at rtobar@inmed.org.