January 13, 2021
Organization will use grant for general operational support of its programs at the Sunflower Hill Garden and to support its produce donations
Sunflower Hill announced today that it has been awarded a grant from the Clif Family Foundation, which supports organizations working to strengthen the food system and communities, enhance public health, and safeguard the environment and its natural resources. The grant, totaling $2,000, will be used to purchase supplies and materials to support its Hands-On Garden Group program, produce donations, and overall operational maintenance of the Sunflower Hill Garden.
“The pandemic has spotlighted the need to improve food access and reduce food insecurity,” said Terry Sue Mock, Clif Family Foundation Communications Manager. “We recognize the work of dozens of garden and farming non-profits across the country, including here in the Bay Area, like Sunflower Hill stepping up to fill a community need to address access to produce and other food staples.”
The Sunflower Hill Garden is an instructional, outdoor space for educational, therapeutic, and life skills training for adults with developmental disabilities. In addition, the Sunflower Hill Garden, which is located at Hagemann Ranch in Livermore, CA, produces thousands of pounds of fresh, organic produce each year. While produce is typically planted and harvested by Sunflower Hill program participants under the guidance of staff, COVID-19 restrictions forced the Garden to close for much of 2020 to program participants and volunteers. Deemed an essential business, Sunflower Hill’s staff continued to plant, grow, harvest, and donate over 4,500 pounds of produce to Tri-Valley non-profits supporting low-income households and those with health concerns. In October 2020, the organization was able to safely bring in-person programs back to the Garden. Following strict COVID protocols and CDC guidelines, the Hands-On Garden Group program is designed for adults with developmental disabilities and meets weekly in small cohort groups. The program focuses on person-centered instruction with program participants working alongside staff planting and harvesting produce for donation.
“We’re thankful to the Clif Family Foundation for this grant and for their ongoing support and enthusiasm for the mission and vision of Sunflower Hill,” said Edie Nehls, Sunflower Hill Executive Director. “Their generosity enables us to provide the materials and supplies needed to ensure our program participants have a successful work experience; one where people of all abilities engage, learn, and give back to the greater community through the donation of produce to our local non-profits partners that have such a great need during this time.”