October 28, 2022

Building Stronger Neighborhoods: Project New Village (i2 Finalist)

Five Finalists Make their Final Pitch in December

One of the most efficient ways Alliance Healthcare Foundation can support population health improvement is by helping innovations succeed, scale and achieve sustainability. We believe that your zip code, race, socioeconomic status, gender or ability should not determine your life expectancy.

Through the Innovation Initiative (i2) $1 Million Challenge Grant program, we help nurture and scale sustainable solutions aimed at closing gaps in health equity. We have supported (and have continued evolving) this Innovation Initiative since its inception in 2010.

Our 12-month capacity building and mentorship of 2022 i2 candidates is coming to a close as we near the final pitch event in mid-December. Innovation Partner Nex Cubed has been a tremendous asset on the journey. A Challenge Grant awardee is expected to be announced at the beginning of 2023.

In the next set of newsletters leading up to the final pitch event, we’ll be highlighting the five i2 finalists. We trust you’ll find these organizations as inspiring as we do.

Project New Village

diane moss- photo source: san diego union tribune

Diane Moss, Founder, Project New Village Photo source: San Diego Union Tribune

Q&A with Founder, Diane Moss

Project New Village is a 501(c)(3) BIPOC-led, grassroots nonprofit working to transform the food supply system of greater Southeastern San Diego, including Southeastern San Diego, National City, and the City of Lemon Grove. We connect communities to healthy food at accessible locations so they can use their purchasing power to develop permanent community assets. Project New Village’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for resident-led, community-rooted experiences that BUILD stronger neighborhoods; IMPROVE the neighborhood food supply chain; STIMULATE collective investment in better health; and MAXIMIZE the impact of investment to address social inequities.

Here’s what the founder, Diane Moss, had to say about their i2 Journey experience so far.

AHF: What has surprised you most during the i2 program?

Diane: We’re surprised by how much we’ve learned during the i2 program. We’re extremely grateful for the connections to experts and resources that have been facilitated by Alliance Healthcare Foundation staff and Nex Cubed mentors. As a result, we’ve strengthened our existing operations, implemented more effective marketing campaigns, developed more realistic financial projections, and explored a variety of new partnerships.

AHF: Has your innovation/solution changed during your i2 journey experience? 

Diane: Our solution involves a two-step approach to implementing the proposed equitable food-oriented development project. We launched the People’s Produce mobile farmers market at four Southeastern San Diego locations at the end of September. We’re listening to our customers, as we’ve been encouraged to do by our i2 mentors, to improve where, when and how we meet their needs for fresh, locally-sourced produce. Based on customer feedback, we’re adding new mobile farmers market locations and changing the lengths of some of the markets. We’re looking forward to continuing to refine our solution during the final few months of the challenge, as we learn how to best meet and measure customer demands and strive to exceed their service expectations.

AHF: How has the i2 journey helped you prepare for other conversations with funders?

Diane: Our ability to have conversations with funders is at a much higher level thanks to the guidance we’ve received during the i2 journey. We’re much better prepared for conversations with potential investors now that we’ve created a compelling pitch deck and had a lot of practice presenting our project. Since we created the pitch deck, we’ve reached new donors and secured more than $350,000 in donations.

Good luck in the final pitch, Project New Village!


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