Resources for Health was founded by Annee and Moses von Borg (aka Anne and Phil Goldfeld) in 1996. At the time, Moses was a fitness and nutrition counselor, dissatisfied with the state of the industry, and Annee was in the Master of Public Health program at Yale University, writing her thesis, “Comprehensive School Health Promotion for High Risk Youth,” under the guidance of the internationally renowned Dr. David Katz. Annee and Moses had a vision to enable all citizens to realize the fundamental conditions and resources for health as outlined in the Ottawa Charter on Health Promotion (WHO, 1986): food, shelter, education, income, a stable eco-system, sustainable resources, peace, social justice, and equity. With assistance from the Yale Law School Nonprofit Organizations Clinic, they established Resources for Health as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to empower individuals and families to care for their health, the environment, and their communities.
In the early years of Resources for Health’s existence, Moses taught health promotion to at-risk high school students at Transition Educational Academy in New Haven, CT, while Annee worked on program development. Things really got going in 2002 when Resources for Health opened an office in Arizona and started a Roots & Shoots program.
Part of the Jane Goodall Institute’s global network of Roots & Shoots programs, Resources for Health Roots & Shoots has completed more than a hundred service-learning projects with children and their families. Check out our impressive history on the RFH Roots & Shoots blog.
One RFH Roots & Shoots project was so successful that it grew into a program of its own: Pollution Solutions. Roots & Shoots youth leaders continued to assist Resources for Health adult volunteers in presenting the program to children and teens throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area and distributing reusable bags to more than 10,000 young people and adults. Pollution Solutions was selected for an Environmental Excellence Award from SeaWorld/Busch Gardens/Fujifilm in 2008. Read more about this and other awards received by Resources for Health on our awards page.
Before 2008 had ended, AZ Homegrown Solutions, co-founded by Annee von Borg and several graduates of the Phoenix Permaculture Guild’s (Now Valley Permaculture Alliance) Permaculture Design Course, was developed to spark the discovery, implementation and sharing of local solutions for food and water security, resource conservation and community well-being while having fun and respecting the natural environment. In its first year of existence as a program of Resources for Health, the program accomplished much, including the donation of six tons of volunteer gleaned citrus to local food bank and an award winning collaborative project with Roots & Shoots to plant 110 native mesquite trees in the Nuestro Barrio neighborhood. In 2010, AZ Homegrown Solutions separated from Resources for Health to take steps to become a stand-alone 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.