If you are a frequent or new reader of my blog, I ask you to please do two things:
1) Watch the video above about Ron Finley, the ‘gangsta gardener’ in South Central LA.
2) Read the below and help save his operation in Los Angeles. He is under a very serious threat of eviction, and we must do whatever we can to help save him. Ron is one of our own, and it is imperative that he continue with his very important work.
Over the past week or so, there have been emails circulating throughout the organic industry from John Foraker, President of Annie’s, about Ron Finley.
Ron is the founder of the South Central LA-based Ron Finley Project, which has sparked a global food justice movement.
John Foraker and Annie’s consider Ron’s project to be one of the most important and impactful community food and farm projects that the country has ever seen, given the outsized role it has played in raising awareness about food deserts, healthy food choices for kids, and inner-city social justice issues.
Since the garden started in 2010, the headquarters have grown into far more than just a garden, representing an incredible change for this community. The property now includes the project’s offices, an educational center and a propagation station for more edible urban landscapes.
Unfortunately, Ron’s property has been purchased by a new third party who is now in the late stages of eviction proceedings against Ron and his operation.
We must act immediately, as Ron could be evicted at any point in time over the next few weeks. Given the situation, our only option is to raise approximately $500,000 in order to purchase the property from the current owner.
As it stands now, via our GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign, we are still short of our goal. The total currently sits at approximately $452,000.
That being said, we are lucky and grateful to have received many donations of all sizes, from both individuals and companies within and outside the organic food industry.
Not only have John Foraker and his wife personally donated $50,000, but Annie’s has matched that generous amount.
Another company that has really stepped up to the plate has been Califia Farms.
“As members of the downtown Los Angeles community, Califia Farms is proud to contribute to the efforts to save Ron Finley’s ‘Gangsta Garden.’ Ron has heroically shown what plants can do and the impact they can make on the health and well-being of an inner city. Califia knows how important it is to keep projects like this alive, and we’re proud to say we’ll be donating $50,000 at a company level. Furthermore, when our team learned of this worthy cause, they pledged to donate personally as well,” said Co-Founder and CEO Greg Steltenpohl.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1) Please share this post on your social media networks. We need to spread the word far and wide in order to raise awareness and save Ron’s project.
2) Please consider making a donation — of any size. I have given money and hope you will do the same.
Donations can be made on the project’s GoFundMe crowdfunding page.
Time is of the essence here, as the eviction proceedings could take place at any moment, and thank you so much for supporting this incredibly important project.
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