Donations began to pour in after Wiscasset’s Morris Farm asked the community for help covering a $30,000 revenue shortfall early this month, covering almost all of the shortfall after one week.
As of Feb. 16, the farm had received $24,735 in donations this month, according to board of trustees Chair Madelyn Hennessey.
“We are extremely pleased with the results of the fundraiser,” Hennessey said. “The response was really quite remarkable.”
In addition to donations, the board received many heartfelt notes from community members expressing how much the farm means to them.
The Morris Farm’s mission is to provide programming that teaches the community about sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and the environment, as well as to provide free, fresh food to those who need it. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March, Morris Farm had to cancel all of its camps, programs, and fundraisers that usually bring in necessary revenue.
The Morris Farm Trust was founded in 1995 to protect and preserve the farm. The farm produces fresh vegetables and herbs, and operates a farm store that sells dairy products, vegetables, and meat from other local farms, as well as books, crafts, and more.
Now, with the help of donations, Hennessey believes the farm will be able to sustain itself for a few more months. The board worked to cut as many expenses as possible when the pandemic began, but nonprofits always need public support, and without programming, it was difficult to make money.
“You don’t anticipate the crises, and then all of a sudden you’re in it,” Hennessey said.
Morris Farm is already planning more ways to offer nature-based education to the community. Last week, over many schools’ February breaks, it held a soft opening of a new farm camp for kids ages 4-11.
They had a small number of students and hope to run the same camp during April break. Information about the new camp will be posted on the Morris Farm website when available.
Hennessey extended a “gigantic thank you” to all of the donors and said the farm is always accepting donations. Donations can be sent to The Morris Farm Trust, 156 Gardiner Road, Wiscasset, ME 04578, or made online at morrisfarm.org.