Allen has been recognized nationally for his work fighting poverty through urban agriculture: in 2005, he received a $100,000 Ford Foundation grant; in 2008 he was the recipient of the esteemed MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, which itself came with $500,000. And in May, Allen received $400,000 from the Kellogg Foundation to create jobs in urban agriculture. With that money, he's been able to harvest more than $250,000 worth of food each year for the hungry in his city.
Allen's Growing Power farm is featured in the soon-to-be released sustainable ag documentary "Fresh," which we are trying to get screened here in Wilmington, partnerning with Energize Clinton County. "Fresh" has been labeled as the partner film to "Food, Inc.," which was released in June and aims to expose some of the problems with monocultures and Big Agriculture. "Fresh," on the other hand, doesn't focus primarily on the detriments of Big Ag, but rather on the benefits of small, sustainable farming operations that are practicing responsible methods of growing.
Will Allen is a model of what local food should be, and hopefully this surge of publicity will only add to his success.