Farmers—especially organic farmers—operate on razor-thin margins that are especially stressed during hard times. Yet even when farmers are facing the challenges brought by natural disasters and a global pandemic, their dedication to the land and our communities continues as they work each day to grow nutritious food for our families.
Our Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund gives grants to organic farmers to help them weather difficult times. In 2020, we received four times as many applications than in any other year, and the immense community support we received allowed us to give $89,000 back to those farmers.
One of the beneficiaries of this fund in 2020 was Sea to Sky Farm, a beloved member of the Santa Cruz food community. Chris and Dana Laughlin grow organic fruit, vegetables, and herbs at farm sites in the redwood forests and along the Pacific coastline. When the CZU Lightning Complex fires swept through the Santa Cruz mountains last year, the Laughlins lost their fruit orchard, equipment, and farm facilities. Financial assistance from the Hardship Assistance Fund helps makes it a little bit easier for farmers like the Laughlins to recover and continue farming.
"At a time when our farm needed it the most, following the CZU Lightning Fire Complex, we were granted relief funds from CCOF's Foundation. Those funds helped us rebuild from the fire, which damaged critical infrastructure at the farm,” explained Chris. “We're very grateful for the CCOF Foundation's support."
As the effects of climate change cause more frequent wildfires in California and natural disasters across the country, financial support will be critical for recovering farmers. Join us in helping these vital members of our community when they need our support the most—every dollar of your donation goes to organic farmers. Plus, your donation is matched by Santa Cruz Gives this year, so it goes even further!