You’ve just seen a video written, produced, directed, and scored by Sarika, a 16-year old volunteer of Community Services Unlimited (CSU) and a graduate of our youth apprenticeship programs. We’re thrilled she’s shared her vision of South LA with you as part of our fundraising efforts to get CSU into a beautiful new community home at the Mercado LA Paloma.
Just imagine if South Los Angeles had readily available, affordable, fresh produce grown without pesticides, instead of an endless sea of fast food chains. Now imagine that produce was grown by a local community organization that created jobs for South LA residents, taught youth about where food comes from, and how to grow their own. CSU has steadily made this a reality in our community. We boast 3 urban farms and every week handle 1,300 lbs of produce harvested from our sites and by local farmers. This means thousands of fresh tomatoes, crisp apples, and newly picked kale on family tables in South LA. By the end of 2012, we’ll meet our target of providing produce to 1,000 local families. Now CSU has the chance to take our work to the next level.
As you can see from Sarika’s piece, we’ve outgrown our shared kitchen and desperately need to expand in order to get more produce to local residents and businesses. She’s captured the beauty in our work - the raised herb beds we built in our garden right off of King Blvd - but also our cramped, over-flowing workspace that simply is not big enough for the ways that CSU continues to grow.
Luckily, we have the amazing opportunity to reroot ourselves in the Mercado La Paloma, a vibrant community space in the Figueroa Corridor.
We know that by bringing Community Services Unlimited to the Mercado La Paloma, we will be able to feed more families, teach more youth about where their food comes from, and give more families the power to grow their own produce. Yes, that means more canning, jamming, and cooking together! We’ll be in the good company of local artists, small businesses, and community advocates. And, community members will be able to purchase produce from Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm at our new Village Market Place storefront.
But, we need your help! A bigger space means a bigger rent check every month. And moving isn’t cheap. Besides paying the movers, we need new fridges to store our produce, new furniture that fits our space, and new signs so the community knows we’re here. We need $15,000 for our entire move, but if we raise just $8,500 it will really help us pay for our moving costs and get settled in our new home.
Please contribute and help get fresh produce into South LA. No gift is too small and every little bit helps! And don't forget to help spread the word by sharing this page with your friends on Facebook and with your Twitter followers.
Together, we can create a just, sustainable food system in South LA! Onward!
** Come pick up your donor perks at our new space in the Mercado. We'll be happy to see you and show you around our new home!