“We have seen that immigrant and refugee families are really excited by the idea of gardening,” says Denver Urban Gardens Director of Development & Communications Rebecca Andruszka. “For some, it is certainly to help supplement their food budgets as they establish employment, but others are just used to gardening and farming – they enjoy it, it gives them confidence, and it helps feed their families.”
“Immigrants and refugees from rural and agrarian areas become the experts, the teachers, in the gardens, when in the rest of their life they are struggling to learn how to fit into a brand new culture,” notes Andruszka.
“Establishing a new life in a new country is an enormous endeavor, especially if you are escaping a bad situation,” says Andruszka. “The community garden offers therapy, a way to meet neighbors who might have a different background, and can reconnect you with your home by growing familiar produce.”
“One of the most inspiring things [about this project] is the fact that all three organizations could come together and have all of our respective strengths represented in this partnership,” says Rebecca Andruszka of Denver Urban Gardens.
pages 12-13, full text: http://www.denverfoundation.org/GiveMagazine-Summer2017/index.html
Rebecca Andruszka, DUG’s development and communications director, said the organization had already announced the 2016 Free Seeds and Transplants program when it received the news about the funding cut.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of backpedaling we could do at that point. Internally, we took a hard look at some areas where we could make some cost cuts,” she said.
Andruszka said she believes the funding cut happened because money is tight in general. While Denver has supported the service through the process, DUG needs cash to make it run.
“It’s clear that the outpouring of support from the community that people love this program,” Andruszka said. “We just need to make sure everyone knows about it and turn some of that interest into dollars coming in as well. Canceling the program is an option, but it’s one we want to avoid.”
Rebecca Andruszka, who works with DUG, says her friend’s children will only eat vegetables from the garden at school — not from the grocery store.
“I think it’s just that it seems less foreign when you’re a part of the growing process,” Andruska says.
I was interviewed on this podcast about planning fundraisers. I have not actually listened to it yet, as I’m a little nervous about hearing my voice, so if someone can listen and let me know if it’s okay, I’d appreciate it.