A woman providing food assistance to a child in a classroom while reading to them.

Beautiful Beginnings childcare families to get local produce from Southside Community Land Trust

Southside Community Land Trust will distribute fresh produce to families at Beautiful Beginnings on Friday afternoons this fall

Southside Community Land Trust (SCLT) is partnering with its neighbor Beautiful Beginnings to provide free, locally grown produce to families and staff of the childcare organization on seven Fridays this fall, starting September 15. The donation is just one SCLT has made to community organizations in the Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls neighborhoods where SCLT works, thanks to a $438,902 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The program came out of the pandemic to make healthy food more affordable and available in economically marginalized communities most harmed by Covid,” said Food Service Program Coordinator Kakeena Castro. “This time, the USDA went a step further by requiring grantees to source fresh local produce from small-scale farmers of color who are often left out of hunger relief efforts.”

“This partnership is a true blessing,” said Khadija Lewis-Khan, Executive Director of Beautiful Beginnings. “Nearly 100 families, including our staff, have asked to participate in this program and will receive fresh fruits and vegetables at no cost. Many parents have shared that with the prices of groceries soaring, they have really cut back on purchasing fresh produce, and this partnership ensures they will have weekly access to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. All of us here at Beautiful Beginnings are thankful for this opportunity and partnership which will contribute to the health and vitality of our community.”

The USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance grant is administered by the RI Department of Environmental Management. The three-year grant enables SCLT to buy fresh produce directly from local, BIPOC farmers to distribute to individuals in need. SCLT has supported several community partners in the past year, including Clinica Esperanza and other healthcare providers in its VeggieRx Program, Partnership for Providence Parks, Amos House, New Urban Arts, and Haus of Codec. The program ends in May 2025, but many hope it will live on in the federal Farm Bill up for renewal this fall. 

Beautiful Beginnings is a four-star Bright Stars program, currently working to earn its fifth star. The early education center has been serving families in Providence since 1999. Beautiful Beginnings offers infant, toddler, preschool, and pre-Kindergarten classrooms in a bright 12-classroom facility at 700 Elmwood Avenue. The center also staffs and operate one classroom on the CCRI Providence campus. To learn more about them, please visit

SCLT provides access to land, education, and other resources so people in Rhode Island can grow food in environmentally sustainable ways, and create community food systems where locally produced, affordable and healthy food is available to all. It is located at 404 Broad Street, Providence, RI, 02907. For more information, please visit

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