The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihood are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their futures. In more than 40 countries and in 25 U.S. cities, our dedicated restore safety, dignity, and hope to millions of families in need.

Each year, the IRC helps thousands of refugees who have been granted sanctuary in the United States to rebuild their lives. As part of the IRC’s broader resettlement efforts, the New Roots program enables refugees who have agrarian backgrounds and farming expertise to reestablish their ties to the land, celebrate their heritage, and nourish themselves and their neighbors by planting strong roots—literally—in their new communities.

Through a grant from the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, the IRC has created a MicroProducer Academy that is empowering immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs in nine cities across the country with a specific focus in Dallas, Oakland, Seattle, and Atlanta. Each participant is putting their agricultural skills to work by growing culturally diverse and affordable produce in their new American communities. In addition, IRC has also developed a food justice curriculum for youth in four cities to cultivate the next generation of conscious growers and consumers.

Two farmers at harvest
Padam and Tila at harvest before the market in Dallas.

Impact Statistics 

  • In Year 3, there are 85 youth interns across all sites for a total of 241 youth since 2016.
  • In Year 3, almost 1,400 students are participating in garden-based experimental learning during and after school.
  • Since 2016, New Roots has hosted 152 nutrition- and food access related in-home and community training events that were led by youth.
  • Since 2016, there have been 64 new MicroProducers that have received comprehensive training and technical assistance before and throughout the growing season.
  • Five new urban farms and one new community garden have been created for MicroProducers since 2016.
  • In Year 3, 626 low-income households accessing healthy local food through community gardens and markets, reaching almost 1,700 since 2016. 
Kids playing with Milkweed Seeds during their internship
Lay Paw and Aa Khia making wishes on Milkweed Seeds during their internship.  
Woman harvesting potatoes in garden
Rukaiya harvesting potatoes from CHS garden during afterschool club in Atlanta.
Students planting Fall veggies in a garden
Planting Fall veggies in the Garden Club.

More Impact Stories

MicroProducer Academy

Through foundation grants, our partners at The International Rescue Committee established the MicroProducer Academy to support refugees and students with ties to the land. 

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Aluminaries 1.0

In an effort to make real food accessible for all, the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation held a seven-month accelerator program that gave growth-stage ventures a spotlight and mentoring from established leaders. 

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Investing to Cultivate the Future of Farming

Real food needs real farmers and real farmers need a real chance. To date, the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation has contributed more than $500,000 to support the next generation of farmers.

Learn more