Gardens for Good: Southside Community Land Trust
December 2021 update
Photo courtesy of Henry P. Kendall Foundation
Southside Community Land Trust (SCLT), in Providence, RI, is an organization whose mission is to provide access to land, education, and other resources so that people in Rhode Island can grow food in environmentally sustainable ways and create community food systems where locally produced, affordable, and healthy food is available to all.
In 2021, Southside Community Land Trust was one of the recipients of a Garden Conservancy Gardens for Good grant. In December 2021, Development Director Shana Santow reported:
"The pandemic brought a sense of urgency to our work to build a more resilient food system in Rhode Island, i.e., one that guarantees equitable access to healthy food and protects local agriculture jobs. SCLT's mission resonated with the public last year. Funders and donors such as the Garden Conservancy helped to provide Covid-19 relief funding so we could give additional, free resources to community gardeners and farmers in need. SCLT's membership also grew (by 20%) in 2020, reflecting people's increased interest in growing their own food.
Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we have had to stay nimble in order to find the right distribution channels for network farmers' produce. Ideally, restaurants will re-open (and stay open) at full capacity for the remainder of 2021, and have resumed buying both through our Aggregation Program and directly from farmers. If we continue to see high unemployment and infection rates, we will see more demand for produce through Food on the Move and other emergency food suppliers such as Providence in the Parks. Having had to realign our aggregation and distribution infrastructure this year, we have been able to direct affordable, fresh food to the communities where it is needed most. This keeps small-scale farmers in business and enables us to continue to build a more resilient local food system."