We are donors of Noyo Food Forest (NFF) writing to ask for your Giving Tuesday donation to help ensure this vital force in our local food environment survives COVID19.
You, and we, are beneficiaries of an exceptional and dynamic local network of farmers, gardeners, non-profits, businesses, educators, nutritionists, and volunteers that have created and sustained a thriving local food system - one that is struggling today.
We all benefit from our local food economy
• there is wide availability of sustainably grown produce in local grocers; many restaurants and all schools serve fresh produce
• at least a small number of local farms and market gardens are able to thrive, marketing their crops at the Farmers Markets, local grocers and roadside stands
• excellent food and food education in our local schools help ensure the future of these resources
• our community has a growing capacity to respond to food insecurity that will come with future natural disasters and climate pressures
These are exceptional powers for any community as small as Fort Bragg.
Why Noyo Food Forest?
No surprise what COVID19 has done to our food economy - no individual or organization has gone unscathed.
NFF is a keystone organization whose greatest contribution is bringing our youth into the world of healthy food and sustainable agriculture.
• They grow fresh produce for school food programs and educate students and the community about sustainable food and gardening; they support the exceptional food and health education in FBUSD schools which would be unable to afford the same quality or quantity of fresh produce from commercial sources
• They foster local environmental learning through their annual Earth Day Festival and sponsorship of other community projects
• Their Intern Program regularly inspires and supports careers in gardening, farming, and food related professions, providing up to 25 high school aged students annually from all social and ethnic groups of the community with, usually, a first job - an opportunity to earn money, learn about sustainable gardening and our local food system, and create new friendships outside school activity.
The school closures that ended the FBUSD gardens program early in the spring lockdown were a blow also to NFF, which is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.
Despite the resulting restrictions, which continue to limit students and volunteers in the garden, NFF staff completed a four-person intern session this fall while following all Mendocino County Health Department guidelines, and has maintained garden production. It's still a challenge to get produce in the FBUSD weekly meal program. NFF is selling produce via their new Community Supported Agriculture program and delivering produce to the Fort Bragg Food Bank.
But Is NFF Sustainable?
NFF's Board and Executive Director Emily Forster are approaching this crisis with care and foresight. For years the intern program and garden have thrived together.
These times require rethinking and possibly redirecting activities to a new mix of programs for today's reality.
The Board sees opportunities to fill new community needs and has funding requests outstanding. The Board has planned best and worst case scenarios for managing their way through this transition as the outcome of these funding requests and other cash flow projections develop.
Yes, with the help of its donors, NFF is sustainable
When you consider this question, remember that every non-profit needs a substantial donation base to survive. The very definition of a non-profit organization is one which depends on its community demonstrating its sustained financial support for the organization.
Noyo Food Forest has received a $5,000 grant of local COVID19 relief funds.
We hope to help NFF raise an additional $5,000 of COVID19 relief funds.
Other income is projected, but this total would underwrite a full quarter of core funding for staff and overhead needed to plant, maintain, harvest the garden - and distribute produce - helping ensure NFF survives COVID19 and is here for an unpredictable future to support the schools and local food security.
You can help sustain NFF with a Giving Tuesday donation HERE
Every donation - of every size - helps.
If you have more questions about NFF's response to COVID19, please visit the FAQ page
Thank you for consideration of this appeal, and for understanding the importance of our local food economy.
Noyo Food Forest is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations
are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Tax ID# 76-0842972.
Donations can be made to Noyo Food Forest via check, PO Box 974, Fort
Bragg CA 95437.