Student Uses Grant to Improve Access to Quality Food
By Mira Radovich, Senior Contributing Writer
After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2019, Eden Jarman began exploring how changes to her diet could benefit her health.
“My husband had a passion to work with livestock and ended up in a butcher program,” Jarman said. “Through that program we learned the importance of how food affects our bodies. It was nearly impossible to find meat that had all the things we needed so we started working with local farms to create that product.”
Enter the Honest Butcher LLC (@thehonestbutcher), a business formed in 2022 by Jarman and her husband to bring awareness of how to improve your health through the food you eat.
“We want to support those going through similar health issues and concerns to know that there is freedom beyond your disease,” Jarman said. “We also want to support and work with local farms to bring more money into their pockets.”
Jarman, who is pursuing a special education teacher certification through Rio Salado’s teacher in residence program, learned of an opportunity for Rio student entrepreneurs.
She applied for a Wells Fargo Advancing Small Businesses grant with Rio Salado College.
“This scholarship and opportunity with Rio are beyond anything I ever expected from anyone in starting our dream,” Jarman said. “I have been blown away with the connections I’ve made and the selfless support we have been given through Rio.”
Earlier this month, Jarman, her husband and faculty advisors met with representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture to learn about resources available and receive a System for Award Management (SAM) number - a vital step in securing government contracts.
Rio’s Small Business program lead faculty member Alissa Tenorio said Jarman’s story illustrates the challenges faced by today’s college students.
“Eden's family exemplifies our student population and the challenges our students face,” Tenorio said. “Specifically, balancing school with full-time jobs while pursuing her passion of improving community access to quality food.”
Student entrepreneurs who receive Wells Fargo grants also get guidance and advice from the Maricopa Community Colleges’ Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
“Business growth is an ongoing endeavor that demands continuous support and expertise,” said Dr. Lily Davidov, Rio Salado Faculty Chair for Accounting and Small Business. “We are very thankful for the support of the SBDC, Wells Fargo and NACCE grants that help us to stay true to our mission of meeting learners wherever they are and for as long as it takes.”
Jarman is looking forward to growing the Honest Butcher LLC as a business, as well as earning her certification and becoming a special education teacher.
“I chose to pursue special education because I believe our future is in the hands of young people and I want to help those who struggle to be successful,” Jarman said. “My goal for the business is to have the opportunity to work together with my family to build something we are proud of.”
If you are or know a deserving student entrepreneur, complete the Advancing Small Businesses Grant Application here.