Above: Ryan Romeyn, Providence Organic Farm
Greetings Friends of Groundwork,
I am emailing to invite you to get involved in the Local Food Relief Fund, a way for you to help feed out-of-work families and support farmers during the COVID-19 relief effort
Our immediate goal with the Local Food Relief Fund is to raise $30,000 for the purchase of local food for families who are hardest hit by the economic fallout from coronavirus. You can donate online at GroundworkCenter.org/relieffund.
Our staff, led brilliantly by Meghan McDermott, has worked with urgency and focus to organize the structure of the fund so we are sure the money we raise will directly benefit families in need and local farmers. Working with our partners, the NW Food Coalition and the Manna Food Project, we have set up a structure that ensures 96% of the money raised will go directly toward the purchase of locally grown food, with 4% directed toward Food Rescue, which will be distributing the food in the Grand Traverse Region. Groundwork will pass 100% of these funds to our partners for these purchases.
Groundwork has been partnering with local farmers and food pantries for years, steadily increasing the volume of healthy, locally grown food available on pantry shelves for families in need. Now those pantries are facing an urgent need for more food to help people who have lost jobs and are feeling the brunt of the economic collapse that is just beginning to really set in. Meanwhile farmers markets, restaurants, and schools are closed, and the loss of business is pushing farmers toward a financial crisis.
The plan is to raise $30,000 within seven days. I think we can do it, but we are going to have to hustle to make it happen. And while I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, we are hopeful that if we meet this first target, we can launch subsequent targeted fundraising efforts to raise more money for this cause and, perhaps, also evaluate other ways Groundwork can leverage our constituency to help our neighbors who need it.
Workers filed 10 million U.S. jobless claims in the past two weeks, far above anything we’ve ever seen. So many in our community are wondering how they are going to make it. With the urgency of what is happening, people are just trying to stay afloat – and this Local Food Relief Fund can really help.
My family is happy to make a donation to the Local Food Relief Fund. If there was ever a time or generosity, this is it. I hope you will join us. Donate at GroundworkCenter.org/relieffund.