With firefighters gaining control of fires throughout Sonoma County, the Grape Growers Foundation (SCGGF) announced it is partnering 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 last week’s devastating fires. The fund will serve to assist ag workers who lost their homes in the fires by helping to fund the re-establishment of new households.
“Obviously, the fires have impacted everyone who lives in Sonoma County in a variety of ways and for our ag workers, the impact was particularly severe. Knowing that a home provides a family with stability and comfort, we are committed to getting all of our displaced ag employees into temporary housing as quickly as possible,” said Karissa Kruse, president of Sonoma County Winegrowers, who is also serving as the executive director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation.
The fund has benefitted from initial investments from local grape growers and supporters including $25,000 from the John Jordan Foundation and Jordan Vineyard & Winery and $25,000 from American Ag Credit.
“Fortunately, the Grape Growers 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 agricultural workers will continue to live and work,” said Kruse. She added, “While the Foundation is taking a long-term focus on ag employee housing, we need a short-term solution now due to the extent of this calamity.”
“Sonoma County Farm Bureau is pleased to announce that we are partnering with the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation to support agricultural workers in Sonoma County who have been displaced by recent wildfires,” said Steve Dutton, president of Sonoma County Farm Bureau. “Our agricultural workers are a valuable part of our community and we are here to ensure they receive the support they need through this difficult time.”