Who We Are

Uplift Solutions is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 with a mission of delivering entrepreneurial solutions that support underserved communities for the joy of a healthy life. Uplift is known and recognized for its innovative approach to solving social problems, and we have worked nationally on solutions to some of the largest issues related to SDoH (Social Determinants of Health) over the years. Uplift’s current programming focuses on creating pathways for success for justice-involved individuals. This work is accomplished through our highly successful Workforce Solutions programs, and through advocacy and outreach efforts.

Mission

Delivering entrepreneurial solutions that support underserved communities for the joy of a healthy life.

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Vision

Be the pioneer and premier provider of resources to communities that will result in a more stable way of
life and allow people to take advantage of greater opportunities.

History of Uplift Solutions

Our work

Uplift Solutions is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2009 to address Social Determinants of Health within underserved communities and was born from the work of Jeff and Sandy Brown in conjunction with the state of Pennsylvania. Below is a timeline of Uplifts’ growth: 

2009 – Jeff and Sandy Brown launched Uplift’s first program: Sustainable Food Solutions. Through Sustainable Food Solutions, Uplift worked closely with local governments, supermarket operators and developers across the country to bring new food assets online and eradicate food deserts across the Greater Philadelphia area.  

2013 – Uplift introduced Health Solutions, a health and benefits access program. This brought Federally Qualified Health Centers, dietitians, and Community Health Navigators into underserved communities. Uplift worked with developers, supermarket operators, and health care professionals to leverage new developments that would make this possible. 

2014 – Uplift created Finance Solutions, a program built to address the financing gaps of our partners that were developing food access and health care access projects in underserved communities. Uplift provided financial services that helped partners receive public incentives such as New Market Tax Credits and Tax Increment Financing. Within this program, Uplift’s Community Development Financial Institution and Smart Public Incentives Program were born.  

2017 – Uplift implemented Workforce Solutions, its current workforce training program. This program was developed to provide formerly incarcerated and other justice involved individuals an opportunity to gain long-term employment through the remediation of social deficits and the development of life skills. Our case management style combined with our curriculum that is uniquely geared toward returning citizens allow us to prepare our participants for re-integration as effectively as possible, resulting in our unprecedented 2% recidivism rate.  

2018 – Uplift Solutions introduced Philly Food Rescue, a food recovery program that leverages ride-share technology to connect volunteers with surplus and emergency food to deliver to nonprofit partners serving the food insecure. Under Uplift, Philly Food Rescue helped deliver over 2.5 million pounds of food, or 2 million meals, to people who needed it most.  

2021 – As part of our strategic plan, Uplift transitioned the Philly Food Rescue program to Share Food Program, the largest food bank and hunger relief organization in the region. This move impacts the fight against hunger in Philadelphia, saves even more food from landfills each year, and maximizes the potential of the Philly Food Rescue program. This transition also allows Uplift to focus on expanding work with justice-involved individuals by growing our Workforce Solutions program and advocacy efforts. 

Founders Jeff and Sandy Brown
Jeff Brown – Jeff Brown is the founder, President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, Inc. He opened his first ShopRite in 1988, which has since developed into the 12-store supermarket business that he operates today throughout the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region. Each of the Company’s stores is well recognized for its commitment to each local community where it does business. Mr. Brown serves as Officer and Director of Wakefern Food Corp.,

In addition to serving as Board Chairman of Uplift Solutions, Mr. Brown serves as Board Chairman for Philly Youth Network (PYN), Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, and the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board. Lastly, Mr. Brown serves as Director and Officer the of New Jersey Food Council.

Sandy Brown – Sandy Brown graduated with a B.S. from the University of Maryland in 1984. She currently works as the In-Store Branding and Media Relations Director for Brown’s Super Stores. Before her work with Brown’s, Ms. Brown spent eleven years in management for consumer goods companies such as Unilever and Revlon. She joined the Brown’s team in 1995, developing the Human Resources basics necessary for the expansion and growth of the company. In addition, she was responsible for Customer Satisfaction and Quality Assurance for the company. Her HR involvement led her to a position in Customer Satisfaction and Public Relations for Brown’s, focusing on positive results with Wakefern’s Customer Satisfaction Measurement program and improved operational standards at Brown’s. Her current position with Brown’s Super Stores entails developing store décor for all new and remodeled stores and branding of ‘Brown’s Own’ products, as well as, Public and Media relations for the company.

In addition to serving as Board Secretary for Uplift Solutions, Mrs. Brown is involved with many organizations including the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC), Susan Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer, Joshua Kahan Fund for Pediatric Leukemia, and Fragile X Syndrome. She currently serves as a Vice President for her synagogue in Cherry Hill and is an Advisory Board Member for Jewish Family Services of Southern New Jersey.

In 2009, based on his work with the FFFI, Mr. Brown was invited to meet with the Obama administration to discuss his role in and utilization of the program. In learning what was required to develop food desert supermarkets, the Obama administration inquired about organizations that existed to support local governments, supermarket operators, and developers in developing supermarkets in under-served communities. Mr. Brown informed the administration that no such organization existed, but he would dedicate his newly founded nonprofit to that mission. In 2010, Mr. Brown was recognized for his work in helping to establish the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), creating federal funding for the development of food assets in under-served communities nationally.