Friday, April 04, 2014

Seed2Need Community Garden in Corrales Seeks Grant, Needs Your Vote

Seeds of Change is awarding $190,000 in grants—and Seed2Need in Corrales is among the community gardens, schools and farms around the nation that has submitted an application. Seed2Need, in fact, is the only entity in the Albuquerque area that is competing for grant money. A total of 17 grants will be awarded. Two participants will be selected to receive $20,000 and 15 others will be awarded $10,000. The selection process depends a lot on the support of the community--which means YOU. Please take time to participate.  Vote here  (The voting period ends on April 21, 2014, and you may vote once per calendar day).

About Seed2Need
Seed2Need is exactly the type of organization that the newly formed Interfaith Hunger Coalition is seeking as a partner. This non-profit organization dedicated to reducing food insecurity in New Mexico by growing gardens to generate produce for local food pantries and soup kitchens. The Seed2Need garden in Corrales is grown on land donated by property owners in that community, who also cover the cost of water and electricity.

Organizers are very proud of the efforts ot the community to help this project thrive.   Every season hundreds of people participate, donating their time, sweat and effort into planting, endless weeding and harvesting tons of vegetables, Seventeen local food pantries pick up directly from the gardens, with trucks or by sending volunteers who help harvest and then load their vehicles. Our produce is usually distributed to those who need it within 72 hours or less. We want it to be Farmer's Market quality."

Goal: Surpass 250,000 Pounds in Donated Produce in 2014
The Seed2Need entry in the Seeds of Change site provides some truthful eye-popping statistics about our state (based on the Map the Meal Gap report last summer) as well as hopeful ways in which the community garden can help ease food insecurity in the Albuquerque area. 

New Mexico ranks #1 in the nation for childhood hunger and #2 for adult hunger. The central food bank cannot invest limited resources in perishable commodities. Grocery chains provide much of the produce received by pantries, but it often spoils before it can be distributed. Yet, vegetables and produce are a critical component of a nutritious diet.  We provide a farmer's market for local food pantries, with 15 local pantries picking up directly from the gardens. The produce is usually fully distributed within less than 72 hours of being picked. We have donated over 182,000 pounds of produce over the last four years. We hope to surpass 250,000 pounds donated by the end of 2014, our fifth year. 

In addition to donating produce, we provide a volunteer opportunity that is educational, as well as impactful. The amount of produce that can be generated off of 2.5 acres is consistently an eye-opener, and gratifying, to all involved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to write about what we are trying to do. Just as our gardening project requires group effort, winning a crowd sourcing grant requires community support, particularly when there are so many competing. Spreading the word about who we are and what we are trying to do is invaluable and your kind words are appreciated!