SAN FRANCISCO, May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- During COVID-19, small, independent farms have shown once again how essential they are to local communities. To support these farmers, The FruitGuys Community Fund, a nonprofit led by fruit delivery pioneers The FruitGuys, today announced the 15 small farms chosen as its 2020 grantees. Grants totaling more than $51,000 were awarded to farms and agricultural nonprofits from 14 different states for environmental sustainability projects. The Community Fund changed its funding dispersal timing in response to the pandemic crisis and gave the full monetary award in one installment, instead of two, to the grantee farmers.
"Small American farms are key to a healthy food system, economic self-sufficiency, sustainability, and food access and they need support more than ever to continue to feed our communities and keep us healthy," said Chris Mittelstaedt, project director for The FruitGuys Community Fund and founder and CEO of The FruitGuys. "We are humbled to continue to provide this critical funding and grateful that none of the selected farms foresaw any additional challenges to completing their sustainability projects this year due to the effects of COVID-19."
Of the 2020 grantees, 80 percent are women and/or persons of color-owned or managed. Fourteen out of the 15 grantee farms are actively increasing food access for low-income communities.
Hundreds of farms across the nation vied for this year's honors. The 2020 grantee farms, ranging in size from one acre to 120 acres, will use the funding for projects that help conserve water, increase soil health, strengthen natural pest control, extend growing seasons, reduce carbon footprints, bring healthy produce to food deserts, and teach community members how to farm.
The following 15 farms have been selected for the 2020 grant cycle:
Bittersweet Farm -- Heuvelton, New York
Blue Yonder Organic Farm -- North Salem, Indiana
Coffee Pot Farms -- Winslow, Arizona
Comeback Orchards -- Asbury, New Jersey
Dry Creek Farm -- Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Frecon Fruit Farms -- Boyertown, Pennsylvania
Hollyaire Farm -- Junction City, Oregon
Kansas City Community Gardens (The Giving Grove) -- Kansas City, Missouri
Mick Klug Farm -- St. Joseph, Michigan
Rancho Charanda -- Redlands, California
Seafield Farm -- Cape Charles, Virginia
Shao Shan Farm -- Bolinas, California
Sicangu Community Development (Keya Wakpala Gardens) -- Mission, South Dakota
Founded in 2012, the fund provides micro grants (up to $5,000) to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have a large positive impact on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity. To date, $326,000 has been awarded to 84 farms in 30 US states.
The grants were also made possible this year with the support of donors to The FruitGuys Community Fund's Give & Grow 2020 campaign. To make a donation in support of the 2021 grantees, please see the Give & Grow Good 2021 campaign.
About The FruitGuys Community Fund The FruitGuys Community Fund is a nonprofit, fiscally-sponsored project of Community Initiatives whose goal is to support small farms' efforts to promote greater environmental and economic health, community engagement, and advocacy that supports sustainable agriculture. Founded in 2012, the fund is one of the only microgrant programs available to American farms. These grants help farms enhance pollinator habitats, conserve water, increase soil health, extend growing seasons, and increase productivity.