By Sustainable Solano

As a nonprofit organization, Sustainable Solano continuously seeks funding from various grants and other sources that can support the work we do. But there is something that deepens our connection to the local community when funding comes from a local source.

We are grateful to the Solano Community Foundation and its donors for their ongoing support of our work, including two recent funding awards that will help us continue our work supporting our local food system and access to healthy food within our communities.

The SCF has provided a $25,000 grant that Sustainable Solano will use to support our Solano Gardens program. Solano Gardens establishes and revitalizes edible gardens in communities that have limited access to healthy, fresh produce. Using permaculture principles that support healthy soil, rainwater capture and water conservation, these gardens provide a source of fresh produce, a hub for information about sustainable urban agriculture and a place to build relationships. To date, Solano Gardens has established nine gardens at schools, places of worship and multi-unit housing, such as an apartment complex and a veterans home. These gardens were funded by Solano County as part of the Solano Community Health Improvement Plan. With further funding in question, we are so grateful that SCF stepped in at this crucial time so we can continue to create new gardens around the county in communities that need them and offer ongoing support to existing gardens and the community champions who make those gardens vibrant and sustainable. Know of a site that could benefit from this program? Fill out our Sustainable Landscaping Interest Form to let us know about it!

Of course, food security does not only come from growing our own food. The pandemic’s effects on the industrial agriculture system showed us the flaws and where supply chains broke down. That is another reason it is so important to support our local farmers through buying directly from them or from retailers and restaurants who source from local farms. This is a big part of our local food system work, but the wildfires that tore through western Solano County raised a new, more immediate concern for our Solano farmers who had already been adjusting to the pandemic.

We started raising funds through Bounty of the County: Stronger Together to help the farms hurt by the wildfires, and now SCF has stepped forward to offer $25,000 in disaster relief funding that can advance those efforts. While the Bounty of the County fire relief funds will go to farmers for immediate needs, we will use the funds from SCF to help farmers in the second stage of recovery based on what we are hearing from the farmers themselves that they most need to rebuild. You can learn more in our blog on how we plan to support wildfire relief and future resilience for our local farmers.

In this time of giving thanks during a year with so many challenges and uncertainties, we are truly thankful for the partner we have in the Solano Community Foundation and the support it provides to Sustainable Solano and the residents of Solano County through its mission of private giving for public good.