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#GivingCan Grow a Healthier Community: Program spurs volunteers to Glean, Garden and Give

December 12, 2014 – San Diego, CA – San Diegans give generously of time, talent and treasure during the holidays when philanthropy is top of mind. Many look for opportunities to volunteer, donate to their favorite nonprofit organization, or lend their expertise to a group or organization in need.

Residents of Chula Vista are leading the way by supporting “Glean, Garden, Give”, a program based on an ancient form of welfare that has quickly taken root by harnessing the power of volunteers to glean and grow fresh produce to give to families in need. The “Gleaning” program concept, which has region-wide potential, is a fitting example of community engagement and empowerment, and neighbor helping neighbor to demonstrate that #GivingCan grow a more healthy community.

A recent grant from the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation (CVCF), an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, funds this “Fresh to Families” effort that gives a nutritious boost to clients aided by the Sister Dolores Social Outreach food pantry at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Chula Vista. The program uses a cadre of volunteers to collect surplus fruits and vegetables, which is distributed to more than 1,000 regular clients who are often unable to buy healthy, local foods because of cost or availability. The program also includes a community garden network, with 10 gardens so far expected to contribute 500 pounds of harvest.

“Our foundation got behind ‘Fresh to Families’ because it’s about neighbors helping neighbors to create real change for a healthier community,” CVCF Chair Michael Meacham shared. “The program identified a need – families weren’t being exposed to enough nutritious food choices – and came up with the type of innovative solution that our grants were designed to encourage.”

But the program goes beyond affording families fresh food. “Fresh to Families” is about community engagement and building relationships by connecting those who have the resources with those who need them, and improving the overall health and well-being of the community.

“Through education we plan to help our clients make better eating choices that will foster positive health changes and encourage them to help themselves, which strengthens the entire community,” Program Coordinator Rosa Vasquez explained.

While volunteering is a rewarding way to serve the community, many San Diegans also provide financial resources through donations to nonprofit organizations at year’s end. Donating cash is a common method of charitable giving, but donating stock can also provide a convenient philanthropic alternative with a greater tax incentive.

The San Diego Foundation encourages residents to show their commitment to the San Diego community this holiday season by making a charitable donation. Donors can contact The San Diego Foundation to establish a charitable fund, or search The Foundation’s robust BetterGiving database of local nonprofits powered by Guidestar at www.SDFoundation.org/Bettergiving to find an organization or program that ignites their giving spirit. Donations can also be made directly to The San Diego Foundation to support the “Fund for the Common Good,” which benefits programs that support pressing community needs. To ensure a 2014 tax benefit, donations can be made in the following ways:

#GivingCan grow a healthier San Diego community. To learn about more ways to give, visit sdfoundation.org/give.


About The San Diego Foundation
Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving. The Foundation manages more than $661 million in assets, more than half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $894 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. For additional information, please visit The San Diego Foundation at sdfoundation.org.

Contact
Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com
Theresa Nakata, The San Diego Foundation, 619-890-1378, theresan@sdfoundation.org

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