PROVIDENCE – Grants totaling more than $26,000 have been awarded to the Southside Community Land Trust by the Whole Foods Market Whole Cities Foundation, according to a late February release from the Providence-based nonprofit.
A $5,000 grant was awarded in November to SCLT. It was followed up by further donations made through what the Whole Cities Foundation called a “5 Percent Day” on Jan. 11. On this day a portion of sales from all Whole Foods stores in the Northeast were donated to SCLT and a dozen additional grant recipients.
In a statement, Lee B. Kane, Whole Foods regional mission, culture and higher purpose coach, noted the similarity in start dates between SCLT in 1981 and Whole Foods in 1980.
He said: “It would not be an exaggeration to say that both of our organizations have been working the same fields for the past 37 years to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food and the information, knowledge and resources needed to ensure that it is available, abundant and delicious for all people everywhere.”
SCLT used the monies to fund the construction of its first large-scale community garden in Central Falls. The project, which was requested by the city’s mayor, James A. Diossa, is called the Garfield Park Community Garden and will enable up to 50 neighboring families to plant, grow and harvest fresh produce for years to come.
A ribbon cutting will be held at the site in April followed by an open garden day when neighbors will be invited to learn more about organic gardening, SCLT programming and sign up for plots.
The city of Central Falls signed a long-term lease with SCLT to build and manage the Garfield Park Community Garden. Several other funders helped make the project possible, including Citizens Bank/Local Initiatives Support Corp. Rhode Island, Ocean State Charitable Trust, the Rhode Island legislature and SCLT’s Land Fund.