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Donations to One Nonprofit Helps Feed Eight More.
by Tim Davis
Monday Apr 21st, 2014 5:53 PM
Homeless Garden Project crowd-funding campaign will help feed eight other non-profits who support the most vulnerable in the Santa Cruz area.

SANTA CRUZ, CA (April 21, 2014) Homeless Garden Project (HGP) just launched a crowd-funding campaign called “Feed Two Birds with One Worm.” They plan to raise $15,000 to provide fresh food and flowers from their farm to eight local organizations that work with some of Santa Cruz’s most vulnerable populations.

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide our fresh farm produce to those who are making transformative changes in their lives,” says Darrie Ganzhorn, HGP Executive Director.

HGP is an innovative organization based on a 3.5-acre organic farm on the west side of Santa Cruz. They provide job training and transitional employment to those who are homeless or experiencing a high risk of homelessness.

Every year HGP sells produce grown on the farm through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Members pre-pay for their produce, and pick it up on the farm each week for 23 weeks.

“A beautiful part of the CSA model is that we have a relationship through the entire harvest season with people who will be eating the food we grow at Natural Bridges Farm,” says Darrie. “Equally beautiful, is the possibility that our CSA members will create a relationship with the farmers at Homeless Garden Project and with the farm itself.”

HGP also distributes weekly boxes of produce and flowers to the additional eight local organizations that focus on easing suffering in Santa Cruz.
• The River Street Shelter provides shelter, food, counseling and social work to the homeless.
• Gemma helps women released from incarceration build successful lives.
• The Davenport Resource Center brings critical services to poor communities along the North Coast.
• Women's Crisis Support/Defensa de Mujeres (currently known as Monarch) offers intervention and prevention services to women who suffer from domestic violence.
• Transition Age Youth gives foster youth the tools needed to succeed as adults.
• 180/180 Santa Cruz is a collaborative of local nonprofits making a 180-degree turn to house 180 of the most vulnerable, chronically homeless men and women and provide support services they need to stay housed.
• Hospice of Santa Cruz County brings peace and comfort to the seriously ill from Scotts Valley to Watsonville.

The “Feed Two Birds” campaign, which started on April 4, will conclude on May 18.

“We’re really amazed, and grateful for the support so far,” says Ganzhorn, “but to be able to support these organizations throughout our season, we still have a ways to go. ”

To help HGP meet their goal, and eight other non-profits provide nourishing organic produce to their participants, donate online at <a href="igg.me/at/hgp">link or <a href="homelessgardenproject.org">link, or mail your donation to Homeless Garden Project, PO Box 617, Santa Cruz, 95061.

For more information about HGP, or the “Feed Two Birds” campaign, contact Kate Pearl at 426.3609.10 or katep [at] homelessgardenproject.org.