Farm Discovery Responds to Urgent COVID19 Need with Fresh Organic Produce for Community Members Most in Need, Joining #GivingTuesdayNow in Global Day of Giving and Unity
Watsonville, CA May5, 2020 – Farm Discovery is responding to meet the needs of kids, youth, families, seniors and local food distribution programs by growing and delivering fresh organic produce to three partner organizations.
#GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity taking place today, May 5, 2020 – in addition to the regularly scheduled Dec 1, 2020 #GivingTuesday – as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.The day is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.
At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on. It’s a day for everyone around the world to stand together and give back in all ways, no matter who or where we are.
In normal times, Loaves and Fishes “shops” for the fresh produce used in their meal and pantry programs at Second Harvest Food Bank. Unfortunately, due to additional public health measures in place during the pandemic, this is no longer possible. Loaves and Fishes has been unable to serve or distribute fresh greens for the past few weeks.
These are unique times impacting our partners in new ways, requiring service expansion and quick action. During an average season Loaves and Fishes serves 80-150 nutritious hot meals a day, Monday through Friday. During COVID-19 that number has doubled and now includes many more children in addition to their regular clients, who include farm workers, homeless, elderly, disabled individuals and residents of both Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Over the past two years new pantry enrollments have averaged 40 households. This February and March there were 314 and 242 household enrollments respectively reflecting the greatly increased need since the Shelter in Place order. 23% of those served by the pantry are elementary age children from 5-13 years old. From mid March to date they have seen an 80% increase in households served and a 100% increase in individuals served in comparison to the same time last year. At this time 20% of participants are residents of Monterey County and 86% are latinx.
Encompass Community Services Transitional Age Youth program has set up temporary housing and meal programs for their current and former foster, probation placement and homeless youth ages 15-24. By delivering “grab ‘n go” boxes Farm Discovery will provide a selection of fresh organic produce especially to supplement for the special needs of vegetarian and gluten-free youth in the program. As we explore this partnership in its nascent stages, we will gather data on the demographics of those participating in this program and explore other ways to incorporate the youth in our existing programs including summer job opportunities and virtual cooking and nutrition lessons.
Farm Discovery will grow and distribute organic produce to Santa Cruz and Monterey County residents experiencing lack of food access during COVID-19 through Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes pantry program and Encompass Community Services Transitional Age Youth program. Farm Discovery will grow and deliver hundreds of pounds of fresh organic produce weekly from Farm Discovery and Live Earth Farm to three facilities.
People can show their generosity in a variety of ways during #GivingTuesdayNow, whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes, every act of generosity counts. The global movement will emphasize opportunities to give back to communities and causes in safe ways that allow for social connection even while practicing physical distancing.
“As a global community, we can mourn this moment of extreme crisis while also finding the opportunity to support one another. We each have the power to make an impact with acts of generosity, no matter how small, and to ensure the sustainability of organizations and services that are crucial to the care and support of our communities,” said Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday. “#GivingTuesdayNow is a chance for us to stand united and use grassroots generosity to show that we are all in this together, beginning to end. Even as many face financial uncertainty, generosity is not about size. From calling an elderly neighbor to chat to offering translation help; from showing gratitude to our healthcare workers to donating to your local food bank, every act of kindness is a beacon of hope in this crisis. We all have something to give, and every act of human consideration and kindness matters.”
Those interested in joining Farm Discovery’s #GivingTuesdayNow efforts can visit Farm Discovery’s #GivingTuesdayNow donation page
For more details about the GivingTuesday movement, visit the GivingTuesday website, Facebook page or follow @GivingTuesday and #GivingTuesdayNow on Twitter. For youth interested in joining the movement, visit GivingTuesdayKids.org for inspiration and project ideas.
About Farm Discovery
Farm Discovery at Live Earth is a farm-based education not for profit organization in Watsonville, California. We empower youth and families to build and sustain healthy food, farming, social and natural systems. By developing environmental literacy, teaching farming skills, and transforming food habits that support personal, community and environmental health we encourage students to build a relationship with food that is healthy for people, the environment and the economy. A special emphasis is placed on reaching underserved people in the Pajaro Valley to bolster individual, community and environmental health.
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eight years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. GivingTuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity and equity around the globe.
#GivingTuesdayNow is organized by GivingTuesday, in partnership with its global network of leaders, partners, communities and generous individuals. GivingTuesday is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.