Established in 2012, the Giving Back Program reinforces The Picerne Group’s longstanding commitment to helping develop healthy local communities. The Foundation contributes directly, and on an ongoing basis, to non-profit causes in the communities where it invests.

To understand the particular interests, needs and culture of the community, the Foundation makes use of connections already developed with key community leaders by the Picerne Group. These leaders are often aware of nonprofit investment opportunities that build on the particular strengths/culture of their own communities. However, they lack resources and partners to invest. The Foundation works closely with these leaders to work out a strategy, goals and objectives to respond to community needs. Community investment may take the form of helping develop an effective new program, investing in an existing program, or implementing one of the Foundation’s already established programs that can effectively address the community’s needs.

Video created by William Wallace a High School Senior participating in the Orange Home Grown Food Literacy Program, sponsored by the Picerne Family Foundation.

While responding to the communities interests, Giving Back Program investments reflect the basic tenets of the Foundation. Therefore, these investments will:

  • Be unique, creative and innovative with a tolerance for risk countered by thoughtfulness, foresight and planning.
  • Be impactful – socially and psychologically meaningful.
  • Provide opportunities not normally available to community members.
  • Positively influence the healthy development of people who demonstrate potential to make a significant contribution to the community.
  • Show promise that the individuals benefiting from the program will give back to the community and society in direct and important ways.

As a community based investor, The Picerne Group sees itself as a member and contributing citizen of the community. On a larger scale, it is hoped that this model will become standard practice throughout the country.

The City of Orange: Orange Home Grown

To help promote a healthy community in the City of Orange, The Picerne Family Foundation awarded Orange Home Grown, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, a $23,000 grant to help the organization establish the “Youth Food Literacy Program”. The Foundation will provide financial support to establish this new program, college scholarships to selected participants and executive coaching and board development assistance to Orange Home Grown leaders.

The purpose of the Youth Food Literacy Program is to foster a healthier, more sustainable food system and to pass these values on to the next generation. To accomplish this, Orange Home Grown selects local high school students to participate in a 12-month certificate program that provides hands-on learning opportunities designed to give students the tools to make informed choices related to food, their health, and their future. The program allows students to engage in the entire food production cycle, providing a balanced look at all aspects of the food system through experiential learning sessions lead by farmers, local chefs, dietitians, caterers, culinary schools, and food science professors. For more information about the Food Literacy Program, visit