In light of the current health crisis, many of Guam’s farmers have experienced loss of income due to the closing of the weekend Farmers’ Market, reduced sales to hotels and restaurants, and crop spoilage due to loss of manpower. Furthermore, farmers have found it difficult to bring their crops to market. One farmer noted that she lost 2,000 pounds of cucumbers and 1,000 pounds of eggplants in the last two weeks alone. As a result, so much local nutritious foods are going to waste.
Meanwhile, there are people who are in need of food in this difficult time for the island. Public health precautions have shutdown most of the island’s nonessential operations, putting many out of work and a source of income to provide for their families. Without a determined end in sight for the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, we don’t know just how long we will be in this suppressed economy.
Under the “Supporting Farmers, Sustaining Families” initiative, GSC will use funds raised from this campaign to pay farmers for their produce and in turn donate fresh produce to organizations that are currently feeding families and to families themselves who need food. Meanwhile, GSC will be in charge of logistics, planning distribution to these organizations. GSC is working with members of the Farmers’ Coop and other farmers, Catholic Social Services and Salvation Army, and with other organizations and individuals who are supporting front liners, those in quarantine, and those who just need access to healthy fresh produce.
Because crops can only stay on the vine, tree, or ground for so long, GSC urgently asks the island’s community to donate what they can to support this effort. Even though this program is being constructed in times of emergency, the “Supporting Farmers, Sustaining Families” initiative will be the foundation for GSC’s organizational goal to create a strong local food system on island by connecting farmers with local consumers. So your donation now will continue to serve the island in the future.
Guåhan Sustainable Culture is a non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to food sovereignty and food security in Guam. Its mission is to cultivate ideas and strategies of environmental sustainability within our local community through practical education, social engagement, and collaborative partnerships. GSC envisions a Guåhan where its people strive toward food sovereignty and greater food security, where its people are proficient in cultivating their own food, and most importantly, where its land, air and seas are sustained for future generations. You can visit our website at gusustainable.org.
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