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Nonprofit raising thousands to help feed immigrant families

The money is going to provide gardening plots at Churchill Community Garden for families in need.

Posted: Apr 23, 2020 5:35 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A fundraiser making sure immigrant families don't go hungry during the pandemic has passed its goal in just hours.

Huerto de la Familia (The Family Garden) is a nonprofit that provides immigrant families with the opportunity to grow their own organic food at seven community gardens.

Executive director Marissa Zarate said with COVID-19 impacting our local community's access to food, it has become more important than ever before for immigrant families to be able to grow their own organic food. She said many immigrant families are excluded from federal economic relief such as stimulus checks and unemployment -- despite having paid into the system.

"In light of that we recognize this is going to have more of an impact on immigrant families in our community than other folks and we want to be able to step up and meet that need," Zarate said.

She started a fundraiser on their Facebook page to help cover the cost of 24 new gardening plots at the Churchill Community Garden for immigrant families.

In just six hours, Zarate said the fundraiser met its goal of $2,400 with the help of 54 donors. It has since exceeded its goal and Zarate said the rest of the money will be used to pay for gardening supplies for those new families.

"We know that families are worried about access to food and to pay their main bills so hopefully that will alleviate some of that concern."

Zarate said the plots will go families already on their waiting list. She said with the money they are able to connect the plots to their irrigation and do other work. She said families will be able to start planting in a week or two in time for the summer harvest.

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