Virginia Cooperative Extension offers financial educational programs for Richmond communities, homes, and businesses through its Master Financial Education Volunteer Program. Volunteer educators partner with Richmond Extension agents to provide individual counseling sessions, run poverty simulations, teach money management workshops to youth, and to lead adult financial management classes. In 2012, the Extension trained over seventy volunteers on how to educate families on money management, homeownership planning, debt reconciliation, and retirement planning. The Cooperative also offers support for locally-owned enterprises that demonstrate commitment to community loyalty, community usefulness, and community well-being. Its Community Viability initiatives provide entrepreneurship training, food-based business assistance, and capacity building resources for nonprofit organizations.
The University of Richmond’s Supplier Diversity Program, administered by the Office of Strategic Sourcing and Payments (OSSP), proactively looks for ways to integrate diverse suppliers into university sourcing opportunities. The department educates the university community on supplier diversity goals, procurement best practices, and strategies to source goods and services at competitive prices. Guided by representatives from several advocacy organizations, members of the Richmond community, and university staff involved in procurement, the Supplier Diversity Program encourages transparency and accessibility in university supplier relationships. The program sponsors events for minority and women- owned businesses to meet university buyers and to learn the requirements for doing business with the University of Richmond. It also provides consulting services for businesses seeking certification as a minority business enterprise.
Tricycle Gardens uses its year-round ½ acre urban farm in South Richmond as a living classroom for adults and youth to learn about farming, soil improvement, nutrition, and organic growing. Producing over 20,000 pounds of produce per year, it is able to run its own farm stand in addition to supplying online grocer Relay Foods and local restaurants. It has also launched five community gardens. In 2013, Tricycle Gardens partnered with the Richmond City Health District, Virginia Community Capital, and Bon Secours Richmond to reduce food deserts in Richmond’s East End through the Get Fresh East End! pilot, modeled after the national Healthy Corner Stores Initiative. Tricycle Gardens provides fresh, affordable, and locally grown produce to two corner store owners. As the program grows to include more corner stores, Tricycle Gardens will work with other urban farms and community gardens for additional local food sources.
Begun in the fall of 2008, Shalom Farms is a regional food security, community development project of United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond. Using high-density urban farming techniques that are replicable in urban communities, Shalom Farms provides experiential learning opportunities for children and adults to engage in food production and healthy cooking. The farm has also supplied over 30,000 of pounds of food to Central Virginia's hunger-relief leader FeedMore and the Peter Paul Development Center. Together with the Neighborhood Resource Center for Greater Fulton, Shalom Farms operates a weekly farmers’ market, operated by Fulton Hill youth.