AUGUSTA – The Harvest Fund, a new small grant foundation for the Maine Initiatives Fund, has announced the foundation’s first eight grants.
According to Deborah Felder, director of the nonprofit organization, six Maine groups have received grants totaling $8,000. The goal of the Harvest Fund is to reverse Maine’s growing reliance of food produced out of state, reduce hunger in Maine, to involve community members in food production, to preserve small farms and to promote healthful, environmentally sensitive agricultural practices.
The grant recipients are:
. Islesboro Central School’s organic apple orchard project;
. The Garden Institute in Camden for the acquisition and revitalization of a greenhouse to support a year-round farmers market;
. The Maine Deer and Elk Farmers Association to develop in-state food sources;
. Medomak Valley High School’s heirloom seed project to help preserve and propagate endangered and rediscovered fruits and vegetable varieties;
. Portland’s Oxford Street Garden Project to create and maintain a community garden;
. United Technology Center of Bangor to create an urban garden space.
Since 1993, Maine Initiatives has raised money for substantial multiyear grants to organizations cultivating economic, environmental and social justice at the grass-roots level in Maine communities. The fund is made possible through donations pooled statewide, which are matched through a grant from the Sandy River Charitable Foundation.
The next deadline for proposals is April 1. Grant application and guidelines are available at Maine Initiatives, 622-6294, or on the Web at www.maineinitiatives.org.