STOCKTON (CBS13) — A community farm in south Stockton that helps several families put food on the table is facing an uncertain future after it was denied some of its annual grant money.
Now, leaders are making a plea to the community as they figure out what to do next.
Leaders with the organization, Puentes, work hard to provide Stockton families a hand through a community farm. Now, that farm is in dire need of its own.
It’s been almost a year since Deborah Martin started her own garden at the Boggs Tract Community Farm in south Stockton. She rents a small plot for $60 a year and it’s improved her bottom line.
“It saves a lot of money. We no longer buy produce at the grocery store anymore. We know it’s healthier here, we can grow whatever is in season,” she said.
But now the farm, she and other families rely on, is struggling itself. On average the farm spends about $4,000 a month for compost delivery and insurance to electricity and lots and lots of water.
“We wouldn’t be able to do without the water, either for our plots or for our chickens,” said Martin.
The nonprofit organization relies on grants, which often are restricted and can’t be used for daily operations or maintenance. It also counts on support from the public, which is needed now, more than ever.
“We haven’t really been in a position quite like this before, but the lack of some anticipated grants that are were hoping to get that didn’t come in in conjunction with a fundraiser that we have normally held in the past that we weren’t able to do these past two years. It has kind of snowballed,” said Kenda Templeton, deputy director, Boggs Tract Community Farm.
The farm was started in 2009. Instead of giving a hand-out to underserved families, it empowers them to grow their own food resources. An online campaign will be used to keep the doors open for at least half a year.
“We are struggling to find that funding to close the gap between some of these grants that we anticipated that either didn’t come through or that are not allowed,” she said.
The organization has set up a GoFundMe page. The goal is to raise $25,000 to continue providing services for many families.