Over ten years ago, with community involvement, our Farm Fresh Choice program was created to increase the consumption of fresh produce by low-income residents. It also addressed other needs articulated by community members: to provide safe and positive work experiences for “at-risk” youth. The program has thrived over the past decade, bringing youth through our doors who have a lot to offer our organization and community.
We are now at a crossroads and need your help. The USDA funding that allowed us to create Farm Fresh Choice and our youth development program has been cut. At the same time, our dedication to youth development is deepening.
The end of funding for our youth development gives us the opportunity to reevaluate our program and chart courses that we could not have taken within the constraints of previous government contracts. This is a chance for us to expand our youth program beyond nutrition education and food justice, and to weave it deeper into the structure of the whole organization. To do this, we need your help.
This next year will be the gap year between the end of our current youth development funding and the establishment of new funding streams. Please donate generously to the Ecology Center today, to support our efforts to solidify and expand our youth development program. Thank you, community members, for your support of this work!