The Sitka Local Foods Network has been awarded a 2015 Community Impact Grant from the United Way of Southeast Alaska in the amount of $1,765 to assist with the network’s garden education program.
These funds will be used to create a downtown teaching garden (hopefully at Baranof Elementary School), creating a centralized garden that can be used to teach a variety of garden education classes throughout the year. The United Way of Southeast Alaska awarded Community Impact Grants to 11 Southeast nonprofit organizations in the areas of health, education, and income.
“The Sitka Local Foods Network appreciates the support of the United Way of Southeast Alaska,” said Michelle Putz, a Sitka Local Foods Network board member and member of the network’s education committee. “We look forward to developing a centrally located instructional food garden and a community education program that acts as a center of learning. This garden space will give us a new opportunity to teach local beginner gardeners of different ages how to produce their own food using the garden as an outdoor classroom. Next year we will be able to invite the community and gardeners of Sitka to an open, public location for bi-weekly classes for children and adults throughout the gardening year, focusing on different topics.”
“We always have more demand and requests for funding than we are able to give but in this competitive grant process the Sitka Local Foods Network ranked high in meeting targeted needs in the community,” said Rustan Burton, Chair of United Way of Southeast Alaska. “We are happy to partner with the Sitka Local Foods Network to meet this/these community need(s).”
United Way of Southeast Alaska is an independently governed, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening lives, helping people, and improving community conditions in Southeast Alaska. United Way of Southeast Alaska and its partner agencies work to create real, lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of problems within our communities. Additionally, United Way of Southeast supports community programs and initiatives that help those in need and also prevent problems from happening in the first place.
The Sitka Local Foods Network’s mission is to increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets in Southeast Alaskans. To accomplish this, the Sitka Local Foods Network hosts the annual Sitka Farmers Market in the summer, operates the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden (which grows produce to sell at the Sitka Farmers Market), and offers a variety of garden and food preservation classes throughout the year (including an innovative garden mentoring project for beginning gardeners).
To learn more about the Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/. You also can like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork, and you can follow us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/SitkaLocalFoods (@SitkaLocalFoods). For more information about the United Way of Southeast Alaska, go to http://www.unitedwayseak.org/