This is part of an occasional series of stories about TEP’s $500,000 donation to the COVID-19 Community Support Fund through the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) to help charities meet increased needs during the pandemic.

Community Gardens of Tucson provide places for neighbors to come together to grow healthy, affordable food.

Some funding sources for the nonprofit organization have dried up during the pandemic, reducing its ability to support local gardeners. So the organization reached out to the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for help.

A $5,000 grant is providing scholarships for 40 gardeners from limited-income communities most at risk of food shortages, as well as staff time to manage the scholarships and gardens.

“It’s through the graciousness of TEP and the foundation that we can continue to do our important work,” said Scott Feierabend, a board member for Community Gardens of Tucson.

The organization oversees 20 gardens across the city, including many located at schools. Each garden has 20-35 plots irrigated with drip lines. Some locations partner with the International Rescue Committee to provide plots for refugees.

The cost of a plot is $216 a year, or $18 a month. The grant helps cover partial or full scholarships.

“We can’t thank the foundation enough for its ongoing support and dedication to our organization, as well as to the larger nonprofit sector. This kind of commitment makes Tucson the special place that it is,” Feierabend said.

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