The Nashville Food Project (TNFP) is located in Nashville, Tennessee.  

        TNFP set out to open a for-profit catering business, with the idea that profits from that business could support new growth for their core mission of providing community meals at no charge to people living with hunger.

        As they got deeper into the investigation, it became clear that it would not be a good fit for the organization. They have hundreds of volunteers who do most of their meal preparation work and using that labor force for a traditional for-profit catering business was neither feasible nor desirable.

        They pivoted to a more collaborative model: TNFP provides long-term contract meal prep and delivery for other nonprofit organizations who are already providing other services to people who live with hunger or food insecurity.

        As a result of this “pooled resources” model, TNFP has been able to dramatically increase the number of meals they serve every week (by 800% from 2015 – 2019), and have formed meaningful partnerships with a growing number of social service agencies in Middle TN.

         This growth allowed them to raise enough funds to build their own facility in 2018. Their new commercial kitchen, offices and community space have allowed them to pursue even greater growth opportunities to better meet the need for fresh, nutritious food in their community.

 Brings people together to grow, cook and share nourishing food, with the goals of cultivating community and alleviating hunger in our city.

“If you’re a smaller organization and are making a big shift, this is a great process.  Keeping us on track, keeping us moving, and getting insight.  ”                      Ingrid McIntyre, Open Table Nashville

“It’s been a great value for Project Return specifically to have dedicated weekly and monthly time to focus on Pro-Housing. The convening of the impact team, which brings together all tiers of the community—successful business leaders, supporters, staff—brings new and different perspectives. That’s been invaluable. The check-ins or conversations with Sean on a weekly basis have allowed us to move forward a lot of work that might otherwise have remained on a list of to-dos. ”                    

                                   Darrell Hawks, Project Return

"The shared opportunity to work with other nonprofits is really good bang for your buck. Nonprofits have to be good stewards of our money, and for that reason, I would highly recommend using this program."

                                                      Susan Huggins, CABLE

"The Frist Foundation loves to support the Innovation Catalyst program because it continues to foster innovation in our nonprofit community, especially around earned revenue.  This is extremely important for diversifying a funding base for so many nonprofits in Nashville and making them sustainable in the long term, which we love to see."

Corinne Bergeron, Frist Foundation

“We think in a more enterprising way. We went into this thinking we would have an enterprise over here, and conduct our normal business over there, and it became much grayer. Sean even ended up saying very well: “It’s not that the Nashville Food Project has a social enterprise; the Nashville Food Project IS a social enterprise.” And that’s a distinguishing feature that was important for us to recognize on our own. So the language with which we talk about ourselves is different. And the way we think about ourselves is different—we’re sharper and more strategic.”                       Tallu Quinn, The Nashville Food Project