Food pantry hoping crowdfunding will help garden thrive
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry is exploring a new source of funding for its garden by participating in a challenge grant sponsored by a non-profit that provides access to crowdfunding.
The food pantry currently grows crops for the community garden and clients of the pantry using its greenhouse. Garden coordinators want to expand the greenhouse operation by making better use of it and extending the growing season. They are hoping SeedMoney.org can help make that happen.
The RAFP garden project will be live on the SeedMoney.org website from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, and could receive a $400 challenge grant awarded to the 50 campaigns that raise $600 the fastest. An additional $600 bonus grant will be gifted to the project that raises the most money.
Tom Jerow and Jan Sarkauskas, the garden coordinators, plan to add irrigation, shadecloth, solar-powered circulation fans and growboxes, which will allow vegetables such as peppers, eggplant and patio tomatoes to provide hundreds more pounds of produce for the pantry customers. The automated air circulation and watering system will allow volunteers to spend more time in the garden or doing other pantry tasks rather than making trips to the greenhouse to check on those things.
Links to the crowdfunding website will be on the RAFP website and facebook page, or donations can be made at the pantry on Coon Street, by writing “garden” in the memo.