Seven years ago, Tracey Chapman suffered various illnesses that she would later address not with medication but with nutrition. That wake-up call inspired her, and today she is the president of fledgling charity Makers Farmacy, a nonprofit that aims to grow and donate fresh produce year-round using sustainable vertical aeroponic technology.
“When families fall on hard times financially, they are sometimes forced to compromise by choosing to fill their bellies over choosing quality nutrition,” she explains. “Food pantries – although doing a great work in our communities – typically only have access to shelf-stable food items.” Makers Farmacy aims to fill the gap locally in Wilson County, donating fresh food that fuels and heals.
In April, Chapman put her past professional experience in the nonprofit sector to work and established her own charity, holding its first public fundraiser in October. Their phase one goal is to raise $30,000 to purchase and maintain an indoor growing facility.
The organization is 100 percent volunteer, including its four-member board. “We approached several people that had a passion for health and nutrition along with certain skills and assets that would help us grow,” she says.
Chapman and her board focus on fundraising and targeting passionate donors who believe in their vision. Proving viability is critical to that next step. “There are people willing to invest in an idea – and then there are people that are willing to invest once something is up and running,” she explains. The organization got started with an initial investment from friends. “I appreciate those that have embraced the vision and are helping us make it possible,” she says.
Chapman’s dream is to expand into more communities and employ veterans and underemployed people as growers. “The opportunities,” she says, “are endless.”
You can learn more at www.makersfarmacy.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @makersfarmacy.