Dear Southwest Colorado Community,
This summer, food insecure families in our community will have a fresh way to get the food they need - a free farm stand called the Manna Market. The Market will be available weekly from June - October at Manna Soup Kitchen. The best part is, the food available at the market will be fresh, local produce, grown right on site at the gardens at Manna by clients of Manna, at-risk teen interns from La Plata Youth Services, Colorado Master Gardeners and general community volunteers.
Produce will also be donated by local farmers and backyard and community gardeners. Families will learn self sufficiency skills by participating in the growing process, and learn about healthy nutrition with recipes from San Juan Basin Health and cooking classes by Cooking Matters.
With 1 in 5 children in La Plata County facing food insecurity, how will we ensure that we have enough produce to distribute? That’s where we need your help.
Over the past two years we have offered a Garden Share (weekly produce basket) for up to 15 Manna families. More families applied to participate in the program than we were able to accept, and we know that many more families in our community are in need healthy food.
There is strong demand, and we have the space, volunteers, experienced garden coordinator, and community support to grow this project. What we need is the funding to expand the garden to grow more produce and the supplies to effectively harvest and distribute this produce to the community.
The Manna Garden would be able to effectively double the vegetables produced in raised beds by doubling the growing space.
The Garden Project of SW Colorado needs lumber for raised beds, three dump truck loads of topsoil, additional irrigation lines installed, new tools, and supplies for the Manna Market. Because The Garden Project has a strong team of volunteers, the labor for the projects would be covered with the exception of irrigation professionals.
The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado has received a Block Grant of $23,000 from the City of Durango to support the expansion of the garden programs at Manna Soup Kitchen this year.
We are seeking $7,000 in matching funds from the community in order to expand the garden, start the Manna Market and reach as many food insecure families as possible this summer.
Your support will provide underserved families and children with healthy food and nutrition education, filling a much needed gap in our community.
A mother applying for last year’s Garden Share program wrote:
“I have a family with 3 small children. Encouraging healthy eating is hard when we are low on cash. I can’t afford fresh fruits & veggies. I am trying to provide healthy meals for my growing family.”
Won’t you help us reach more mothers like her?
You Can Help By:
1) Making a donation below
2) Contributing your extra garden produce to the Manna Market this summer
3) Telling families who might benefit about Manna Market
With sincere gratitude,
The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado