Appetite for Change wins $100,000 grant

The ascena Foundation has announced the 2017 winners of the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards. The fourth annual program seeks to empower and provide financial support to grassroots organizations who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of women and/or children in communities across the United States, specifically in the areas of health, education, social reform and esteem.

This year’s winners include: Appetite For Change, Inc. (AFC) — winner of the $100,000 Grand Prize, Home Works! and Found in Translation.

A luncheon to honor the winners will take place on October 26 at Cipriani  on 42nd Street in New York City. Acclaimed journalist and philanthropist, Soledad O’Brien will emcee the event.

Appetite For Change co-founders (l-r) Princess Titus, Michelle Horovitz  and LaTasha Powell (Jaffe Awards)

“Winning the Roslyn S. Jaffe Award is the greatest honor we’ve had as a team so far,” says Michelle Horovitz, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Appetite for Change, located in North Minneapolis. “The three of us have been making lemonade since we started, and the award is recognition of our passion and hard work despite the bumps along the way. This funding is extremely meaningful for AFC and will help us grow more food, leaders and communities.”

ascena Foundation, a charitable organization established by ascena retail group inc., is dedicated to making meaningful difference in the lives of others. The Foundation created the awards program to honor the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe.

“Reaching, supporting and honoring working women has always been our goal, from the day we started dressbarn over 50 years ago,” states Mrs. Roslyn S. Jaffe, Co-Founder of dressbarn and Secretary & Director Emeritus for Life of ascena retail group inc.

She continues, “Through the awards program, we are able to identify and thank the wonderful people who dedicate their lives to helping others through their organizations. I am thrilled to announce this year’s winners, as I feel they each truly embody what it means to be an everyday hero.”

Media industry leaders including Adam Glassman, Creative Director of O, The Oprah Magazine, and Meredith Rollins, Editor in Chief of Redbook Magazine, alongside an esteemed selection committee with expertise in women’s causes, public affairs, health and education selected the three winning organizations based on five criteria: their impact on women and/or children in the U.S., service of lower-to-middle class beneficiaries, use of innovative approaches, scalability, and overall need and use for funding.

In addition to receiving financial grants that can be used to further impact the winners’ causes, these grassroots organizations will join the Roslyn S. Jaffe Alumni Summit where they will become part of a network of winners who benefit from an annual two-day conference that offers collaborations with other peer organizations. This Summit is one example of the ways in which the ascena Foundation continues its relationships with the winners of the Jaffe Awards program year to year in an effort to help them succeed and expand.

The 2017 Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards winners all positively impact women and/or children in low income circumstances, both in their local communities and nationwide. The 2017 winning organizations include:

  • Michelle HorovitzTasha Powell and Princess Titus of Appetite for Change ($100,000 Grand Prize Grant Recipient)
    Appetite for Change uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change in North Minneapolis. Their programs include community cooking workshops, urban agriculture and organized food policy efforts. They train North Minneapolis youth in urban farming, food preparation and leadership, with a focus on providing direct career pathways to the food service industry.
  • Maria Vertkin of Found in Translation ($25,000 Grant Recipient)
    Found in Translation is a Boston-based organization that helps bilingual women to overcome homelessness and poverty by capitalizing on their language skills and becoming professional medical interpreters. Through Found in Translation’s workforce development program, women earn a Medical Interpreting Certificate, develop job skills and financial literacy, and receive job placement assistance upon completing the training.
  • Karen Kalish of HOME WORKS! ($25,000 Grant Recipient)
    St. Louis-based HOME WORKS! aims to increase academic achievement, attendance, parental engagement, homework completion and attitudes about school, and decrease discipline issues. They train and help pay teachers and other school personnel to make home visits to forge a relationship with the parents/families/guardians and get them engaged in their child’s education. Teachers get to know them, share information about the student, and give them the tools to help children do better in school and succeed academically and socially.

For additional information about the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards and this year’s winners, please visit


—Information provided by Jaffe Awards