Community Services Unlimited, Inc. (CSU) was established in 1977 and headquartered in South Central Los Angeles. Since then it has created community programs and organizing campaigns like the early Safe Seniors to the more recent Free Medical Screening Program and the most recent From the Ground Up! CSU is using HFFI financing to support its Community Food Village Project, Growing Healthy Program, and From the Ground Up! which have been developed in response to needs expressed by community members.
The Growing Healthy program engages youth in urban farming and food based learning to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle and develop an awareness of the food access and environmental justice issues impacting their communities. From The Ground Up! is an apprenticeship program that offers at-risk youth training and mentorship in farming, gardening and entrepreneurial skills. Through the Village Market Place, they sell and distribute fresh "beyond organic" produce from CSU's urban mini-farms and local farmers. In 2006, CSU hosted a Sustainable Transport Collective training and converted a diesel school bus to run on recycled vegetable oil.
- Support local farmers and improve local corner markets in the food desert of South Los Angeles
- Create full-time jobs (9) and offer skills training to local residents
- Expand CSU’s Village Market Place social enterprise to carry out activities that go beyond selling fresh produce Create permanent, full-time jobs (13) in the food retail, food processing, restaurant, and catering industries
- Create permanent, full-time jobs (13) in the food retail, food processing, restaurant, and catering industries
Source of money: HFFI CED Program; Fiscal Year(s): 2011, 2015