Letter: ‘Contrived speculation and rumors’

Board of Directors
Growing Food Forward

The Growing Food Forward Board of Directors would like to address your 4/16/2015 article. The GFF board did not suspend “a founder.” The Board of Directors suspended an executive employee. For the record, the organization has no founders. The volunteer directors are named on the registering documents creating the organization as a collaborative effort that serves the community — not an individual. Our board recognizes that lines have been blurred between organizational achievement and the director’s skills at self promotion.

If there was a founder of Growing Food Forward, it would be a 14-year-old named Chandra Starr. Chandra turned her personal experience of being homeless and hungry into a reason to raise nearly $20,000 last year to support a “nonprofit” focused on gardens to provide produce for better nutrition in food pantries. Without her kind heart and generous donation, GFF would not have been able to create a 501(c)(3) organization, attract donors and volunteers, hire an executive director or support gardens throughout our communities.

Chandra’s story sparked interest across the U.S. and inspired many to see what a simple act of kindness could do when we take time to care. As a follow up, Ms. Starr and several St. Stephens students are currently raising money to provide hand up support to help those who are shelter insecure. It’s an exciting time for the students as they interview groups that would best facilitate their fundraising efforts, and a story that is worth the time to write for all to read.

We appreciate the interest in Growing Food Forward, Inc. and hope you will continue to report on the organization and its supporting role with other groups creating food security in our communities. We feel strongly the community would prefer that the board support investigations privately in a manner that does not promote public vilification based on contrived speculation and rumors easily milled through the media in a small community.

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