SANTA ROSA, Calif. (March 27, 2019) – The Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation (SCGGF) announced today it is establishing a recovery fund for ag workers and their families who were displaced from their homes during or impacted by the floods in February.
The fund will serve to assist any workers who are employed by a farmer, rancher or an agricultural employer in Sonoma County. Assistance from the fund will be distributed in the form of Visa gift cards to purchase new household items, food and supplies and to help pay utilities. In the event there is a need for temporary or new housing, funds may also be paid by the Foundation directly to landlords for rent.
“While the Foundation’s long-term focus is on ag housing, we are so fortunate to have it in place to respond to unexpected calamities like the fire and this winter’s floods to provide immediate support to our ag workers and their families,” said Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers and the executive director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation . She added, “The Foundation was established years ago to improve the lives of Sonoma County’s agricultural employees and their families while ensuring Sonoma County remains a place where they continue to live and work. To have that vision realized, especially in these times of unforeseen disaster, is very gratifying for all of us.“
In 2018, just ten days after the start of the devasting fires, the Foundation announced a partnership with the Sonoma County Farm Bureau to establish a housing recovery fund for ag workers and their families who were displaced from their homes by the fires. More than one million dollars was raised in a matter of weeks from contributors in Sonoma County, throughout California and around the world.