No Child Goes Hungry (NCGH) is pleased to provide a $2000 donation to Marigold Farms, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Ventura County, California, committed to inspiring, empowering, and supporting its residents and community by addressing both environmental and social issues. It serves the 800,000 residents of Ventura County and offers in-person educational services to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Counties and online educational services nationwide. Marigold Farms will use the funds donated by NCGH to bolster its Community Support Program, which provides produce, seedlings, seeds, chicken manure, eggs, compost, and other farm products to the community.
Marigold Farm’s mission is to create a community facility where individuals can promote the importance of reconnecting with nature by growing environmentally friendly and organic food, striving to live more sustainably, and providing educational, ecological, and nutritional benefits. Marigold Farms is led by its Governing Board of Gisa Seeholzer, Board President, Sophie Seeholzer, Board Treasurer, and Brent Haggin, Board Secretary.
Each Marigold Farms program is fueled through our farm in Ojai, California, where we grow seedlings as free giveaways to those in the community looking to grow organic produce at home or in community gardens each season,” said Gisa Seeholzer. “Marigold Farms donates 95 percent of its produce to the community to help those who are food insecure. We use the other five percent as pollinators and seed saving. We’re currently bulking up our seed library to donate seeds to the community. This year, we donated over 200 seedlings and over 200 pounds of produce to the community. We hope to triple our efforts in the fall with seedlings and double our produce production.”
According to Seeholzer, Marigold Farms works with other area nonprofits, local community gardens, and community food forests as pick-up locations for produce and seedlings.
“We are also working on building a larger community farm cart that will allow families to drive up on the weekend to pick up farm goods. In Ventura County, one out of six people are food insecure, and we hope that our Community Support Program will help address this pressing issue.”
As with so many initiatives in 2020, the Marigold Farms’ Governing Board had to be creative to continue advancing its program goals during the COVID-19 crisis while following recommended social distancing best practices.
“Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 and the state orders of California, we’ve had to pause on in-person programs,” said Seeholzer. “But we quickly found a solution with our Seasonal Seedling Giveaway. We started the program in March, and it quickly took off. We had more requests than plants. The Giveaway is a great project because it allows us to grow seedlings at our farm and then distribute them throughout the county. We are currently growing for the fall season and hoping to distribute throughout October.”
With Ventura County’s schools closed and students participating in distance learning events, Seeholzer says that there are also opportunities to support local childhood enrichment programs at school districts with local gardens.
It is a pleasure for No Child Goes Hungry to sponsor the seedlings and provide funds for the necessary seedling mix for a Ventura County school enrichment program,” said Kären Rasmussen, No Child Goes Hunger Founder and Director. “It is amazing to see how Marigold Farms is continuing its mission of making healthy, organic produce available to families in need, even during the ongoing pandemic. Their programs bring their community together in such meaningful ways. They are an entity that truly embodies its mission, and I am thrilled to support their efforts.”
To learn how NCGH can help support your local hunger advocacy initiative, contact us today.