Multicultural Refugee Coalition

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Matt Simon

New Leaf Agriculture Director


Matt Simon joined Multicultural Refugee Coalition (MRC) to direct New Leaf Agriculture, MRC’s USDA-certified organic farm just outside of Austin, Texas. He developed the Traditional Provisions food access program in 2022, bringing culturally desired produce grown by refugee farmers to local communities. This work creates fair-wage livelihoods for refugees and delivers traditional produce to the refugee community and beyond.


What will Stanley’s grant make possible for Multicultural Refugee Coalition?   

With funding from Stanley we will be able to provide supplemental income to as many as 40 refugee community farmers and double the amount of culturally desired produce delivered to the community, broadening our impact. Our refugee community comes from all over the world – they are from Congo, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and more. We support our Community Farmers with land and agriculture assistance, business support, interpreters, and other services that help provide an economic foundation.


Stanley Creators Fund celebrates the creators, builders, and inventors among us. What does it mean to you to be a creator, builder, and inventor? 

Being a creator means opening yourself up to the possibilities that you encounter each day and meeting them with a clear mind and open heart. It’s at that intersection that a better world is built.


What is something that you discovered through your work? 

A farm team inevitably forms a tight bond as we work with the challenges that each season presents. I’ve discovered that this bond transcends cultural barriers and even if we don’t speak the same language, we all share a passion for the work of food access and regenerative agriculture.


What drives you? Or, said differently, what’s your “why?” 

I am motivated by the opportunity to foster the connection between healthy soils and healthy communities. I consider myself fortunate to go to work each day aware of the positive ripple effects our efforts create in the refugee community.


“We believe we can shift the perception of what’s possible in food access from lack and dependence to abundance and autonomy.”