One youth’s chapter at Urban Roots can turn into a lifetime of leadership for our community. And if you’ve ever met an Urban Roots youth, tasted the produce they have grown, or visited the farm, then you also have an Urban Roots story of your own!

Amplify Austin is happening February 28th at 6pm to March 1 at 6pm this year. And there are 2 big ways to #amplifyURstory for young leaders before the official 24 hours of giving starts:

  1. Become an individual fundraiser: Share your passion for young leaders and building community with a personal fundraising goal (NO goal is too small!) so your friends and family can support something you care about. All Individual Fundraisers will be entered to win two full-access tickets to the 8th Annual Tour de Farm on April 28, 2019 (a $400 value)! Click the green “fundraise” button at the top of our profile here to get started.
  2. Make your gift today: You don’t have to wait– all gifts made here count towards our $25,000 goal to support the 30 young people in internships with us this spring.

Will you join us and #amplifyURstory today?

Hello, world!

My name is Marissa and I am the new Program Coordinator here at Urban Roots. Last month, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we had two volunteer days where over 80 community members gathered to work with us to build community and reflect on his legacy.

Our days opened with us meditating on four of his quotes that spoke of humanity’s obligation to ensure our fellow world citizens have the ability to live a full, safe, and dignified life. Together we planted hundreds of onion and leek transplants, seeded spring crops, shouted cheers, and played games.

We see our work of feeding the most vulnerable of our population, courageously caring for our planet in an era of environmental destruction, and investing in our young leaders as a continuation of what Dr. King started almost 70 years ago. It was an incredible weekend and I am so grateful for the all the connections that were made.

In closing I will leave you with one of the quotes we discussed to contemplate yourselves: “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

I hope one day you will join us out in the fields!

Urban Roots Program Coordinator

Now more than ever, we are inspired and challenged by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s courageous work for racial justice and a truly inclusive, nourished community. Urban Roots’ Annual MLK Weekend of Service is an opportunity to celebrate and honor his legacy through serving our community together and growing food for our neighbors in need. We’ll be planting 10,000 onion plants, many of which get donated to our hunger relief partners later in the season!

Both volunteer shifts on Saturday and Monday are currently full! But we encourage you to join us for our Open House on Saturday, 1/19 from 12-1:30pm. Please RSVP here!

Come share space with the Urban Roots community at the first Open House of the year over delicious food from Baby Greens, hot coffee from Texas Coffee Traders, youth stories, and a farm tour. We hope to see you there! Send in your RVSP today to let us know you’ll be there and to receive any last minute updates.

 Dear Friends,

We have some exciting news to share! On the heels of our 10th year of empowering youth and nourishing the Austin community, we are thrilled to announce that the Austin City Council has unanimously approved a long-term lease arrangement for Urban Roots to develop an additional farm site in southeast Austin.

We are truly grateful to Mayor Steve Adler, the entire City Council, and especially Council Member Delia Garza for her leadership and for welcoming us into District 2. We appreciate the guidance and support of our new neighbors, including the Southeast Combined Neighborhood Contact Team, the Kensington Park Homeowners Association, and GAVA.

Over the coming months, we will dig right into southeast Austin by conducting thoughtful, youth-led community engagement to cultivate neighborhood relationships and learn how the new farm site can meaningfully serve community interests and needs.

Most of all, we are humbled to be able to serve more young people and grow more food for Austin. As this city continues to grow, now is the time to preserve green spaces and farmland where we can continue to work together for a more nourished community.

When you support Urban Roots, you are sowing powerful seeds of hope and deep connections to land, food, and health that allow young people to thrive on the farm and beyond.

Thank you for your continued support!

With gratitude,
Max Elliott, LMSW
Executive Director

P.S. Check out more about our new farm from our friends at the Statesman and ABJ.

We grow so much more than produce. Because of you, Urban Roots is a place where stories grow.

Qwynci is 17 years old and in her second internship at Urban Roots. Last summer, she shared her story of growth at a community lunch on our farm. During her speech, Qwynci shared her vision to create a garden at her school. Someone in the audience that day was so inspired by her vision that they made a generous pledge to directly support Qwynci’s garden dream!


“I had the opportunity to create a community garden at my school just because someone believed in me… That and all of the other great things I have been able to do because of Urban Roots has been amazing.”

Your support makes amazing stories like this possible for our young leaders every day through paid youth internships throughout the year. And now more than ever, these stories are important because they inspire a better world.

Will you consider a special year-end gift to ensure we can create more transformational experiences and stories for young people like Qwynci in 2019? Your gift will be MATCHED by the Terry and Regina Armstrong Family Foundation up to $25,000 when made by December 31st!

Thank you for planting the seeds of stories that nourish our community in so many ways. From our Urban Roots family to yours, we wish you a happy holiday season!

Max Elliott, LMSW
Executive Director

P.S. With your generosity, young people can have a place to grow and nourish their stories of impact. Have your one-time or monthly gift matched today. Every gift makes a difference.

On Tuesday, 11/20 from 12-1:30pm, we’d love to celebrate our wonderful community at our final Open House of 2018! Join us for treats from our friends at Home Slice Pizza and Hops & Grain, a few words from our youth leaders, and a farm tour with farm director Lea Scott. Plus, we’ll have produce available by donation — so come get some delicious vegetables for any special meals you might be making this week! It’s bound to be a fun and nourishing event on the farm, we hope to see you there.

This is a free event, and all ages are welcome.

RSVP now!

Urban Roots is currently hiring and accepting applications for a few positions in this work to empower youth and nourish community. Are you who we’re looking for? We’d love to hear from you.

We are looking for an innovative, effective, and committed Farm Manager to join our team! Please check out the listing here for more information on the position and how to apply.

We are looking for a relationship driven, youth-focused, and energetic leader to join our team as Program Coordinator. Please check out the listing here for more information on the position and how to apply.

UPDATE: The Open House has been moved to Saturday, October 20th!

Our open house represents a great opportunity to come to the Urban Roots farm to hear a few words from our young leaders, enjoy pizza by Via313 and Hops & Grain, and get an insider’s farm tour. This event is COMPLETELY FREE and open to the public. It’s the perfect experience whether it’s your first time on the farm or you just want to enjoy some time with the Urban Roots family. If you would like to RSVP, submit this form.

Fun fact about sustainable farming: 40% of today’s global population works in agriculture, making it the single largest employer in the world. At Urban Roots, we are committed to the practice of sustainable agriculture AND youth development!

We hope you come out and join us.

Each year, Urban Roots donates 40% of our harvest to local food banks, soup kitchens, and other organizations supporting food justice in Austin. What’s more, our Youth Interns volunteer at these same organizations to learn first-hand about hunger and food access issues in Austin while discovering their own ability to make a difference. In the 2017-2018 program year, Urban Roots donated over 16,000 lbs of produce back to the Austin community!

Click here to learn more about becoming a hunger relief partner or to request a produce donation.

AIDS Services of Austin

AIDS Services of Austin (ASA) is the oldest and largest AIDS service organization in the Austin Area. ASA provides direct care, case management, nutrition supplementation, and much more to people in the Austin area affected by HIV and AIDS. The Helping Hands Food Bank strives to bring healthy, nutritious and diverse food to their clients who are living with HIV/AIDS. Through their partnership with Urban Roots, they are able to offer  clients produce that they would otherwise never try or access at the grocery store. With the donated items, they are able to serve approximately 200 clients per month.

Austin Justice Coalition

Austin Justice Coalition (AJC) is a community organization that focuses on improving the  quality of life for people who are Black, Brown, and poor. Since 2015, AJC has served as a catalyst for positive change towards economic and racial equity for Austin’s people of color by developing, organizing, and providing robust programs and events. AJC’s big four areas of advocacy are education, policing, civic engagement, and community building.

Black Sovereign Nation

Black Sovereign Nation (BSN) utilizes direct action, cooperative economics, and community outreach to develop autonomy in Black communities. Their ultimate vision is to establish autonomous boroughs in cities across the United States, creating an opportunity for a national reclamation of political and economic agency.

Caritas of Austin

Caritas of Austin serves thousands of families and individuals each year through housing, food, education,  and employment services as they move out of poverty and homelessness toward self-sufficiency. Caritas of Austin uses donated Urban Roots produce in its Community Kitchen and Pantry. Caritas’ Community Kitchen serves a free lunch to over 300 individuals in need of a meal each day.  Caritas’ Pantry provides more than 43,000 grocery meals each year to families and individuals in need.

Central Texas Food Bank

The Central Texas Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas. A leader in the fight against hunger for nearly 35 years, their mission is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger. They provide food and grocery products to more than 300 Partner Agencies in 21 Central Texas counties.

Manos de Cristo

Manos de Cristo empowers low-income individuals with a loving hand of assistance and welcomes all regardless of age, gender, race, or religious preference. Inspired by the Christian ideals of  service and compassion, Manos promotes dignity and self-reliance by providing essential oral care, furthering educational development, and meeting basic needs with food and clothing. Manos de Cristo distributes produce from Urban Roots through their Basic Needs and Adult Education programs. The organization serves approximately 50 families each week with food and clothing.

Meals on Wheels and More

Meals on Wheels and More began in 1972 as an East Austin-based, grassroots organization staffed by only eight volunteers to cook and deliver meals to 29 homebound seniors three times a week. Meals on Wheels and More still provides hot, nutritious home-delivered meals to those in need, as well as a wide array of other life-sustaining services designed to keep clients living independently. Today, nearly 5,000 persons in need receive services with the help of more than 7,000 volunteers. In becoming a Hunger Relief partner with Urban Roots, Meals on Wheels and More is also able to provide clients with fresh, locally grown produce, a resource that is often hard to come by for the homebound.

Serafina HOPE Food Pantry

Serafina  is a community service organization dedicated to making the lives of seniors and persons with disabilities healthier and happier. They operate a pantry at the RBJ residential tower, where they serve bread and vegetables twice a week, and also the HOPE pantry once a month, in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank for over 180 clients.

Street Youth Ministry of Austin

Street Youth Ministry of Austin is a volunteer driven organization that serves street-dependent young people in Austin. They provide these young people with daily services, including prayer time, Bible study, fellowship, small group, and street outreach, food and other donated items.

Click here to learn more about becoming a hunger relief partner or to request a produce donation.
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