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November 10, 2022   •   News  

SAFE Grants Funds to Grow Community Garden Program

Folsom, Calif. – (Nov. 9, 2022) – SAFE Credit Union is digging in to support Sacramento area community gardens.

The credit union awarded the Alchemist Community Development Corporation’s Community Gardens project with a $5,000 grant to help purchase a solar-powered generator and other supplies to expand its program offerings in Sacramento’s River District and Oak Park.

“One of the most important items we will purchase will be a solar-powered generator that will allow us to meet the community where they are – with no electricity necessary,” says Alchemist’s Neighborhood Empowerment Manager Joe Robustelli. “We look forward to holding more workshops and demonstrations on how to prepare the fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables that have been grown in the gardens.”

Robustelli explains the grant is also helping to expand community hours allowing people, who may not be able to rent a plot, to volunteer in exchange for harvesting their community garden.

“We’re really excited to be launching this program and excited that SAFE Credit Union provided the first funding that allowed us to think outside the box on what community gardens can really be,” Robustelli says.

The community garden grant is awarded as part of SAFE’s grant program seeking to promote the health of residents in the greater Sacramento region.

Joe Robustelli conducts neighborhood garden workshop Alchemist CDC's Neighborhood Empowerment Manager Joe Robustelli conducts one of the many neighborhood garden workshops given by the nonprofit.

“There is no better way to get fresh healthy fruits and vegetables than straight from the garden,” says SAFE Community Impact Manager Amanda Merz. “This grant epitomizes our goal to provide healthy lifestyles to the communities we serve.”

The gardens and communities benefitting from the grant are the Mirasol Village Community Garden in the River District, the Oak Park Sol Garden in north Oak Park, and the Oak Park Art Garden and Pansy Community Garden Park both in central Oak Park.

Caterer Regina Range, owner of The Burnt Skillet Caterer Regina Range, owner of The Burnt Skillet, demonstrates how to pickle vegetables at a Mirasol Village Community Garden workshop in Oak Park.

Sacramento-based Alchemist Community Development Corporation (Alchemist CDC) connects communities to land, food, and opportunity. Founded in 2004 by UC Davis community development students, the organization's focus remains on addressing food access issues and helping to provide locally grown produce at affordable prices to underserved neighborhoods.

The grant is one of two the credit union awarded for the third quarter of 2022 to organizations dedicated to promoting the health of residents in the greater Sacramento region. SAFE also awarded $20,000 to the  Sacramento Food Bank’s “No Student Left Hungry” program.

SAFE annually awards $120,000 in grants in four phases focusing on its three pillars of philanthropy: veterans, healthcare, and education. For more information on SAFE Credit Union’s grants program, go to

About SAFE

SAFE Credit Union has made members an integral part of its vision since 1940. Over the years the credit union has kept the focus on what really matters, putting members first, a formula that has seen SAFE grow into a leading financial institution in Northern California with $4.5 billion in assets and about 247,000 members. SAFE crafts every cutting-edge product and sterling service with members’ needs foremost in mind. In addition to banking services conveniently available through online, chat, mobile, or phone options, SAFE offers in-person services for members and small businesses at service centers across the Greater Sacramento region. SAFE is a not-for-profit, state-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by NCUA.

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