It was with great joy that we at Cincinnati Friends Meeting (CFM) were able to allocate additional undesignated funds to Permaganic, the ministry of Luke and Angela Ebner. Permaganic was founded in 2010 to continue the legacy of the EcoGarden, Over-the-Rhine’s 22-year-old community vegetable garden and orchard located in downtown Cincinnati. Their mission is to cultivate an environment for all to experience regenerative agriculture by engaging people in growing, harvesting, and cooking healthy food.
CFM has supported Permaganic with an annual gift for many years. The additional gift we made came at a time of great need for those whom Permaganic supports. According to Luke, in a normal year, Permaganic would base their services on their budget and what they were able to bring in. “This year it was obvious that what we provided was needed more than ever,” says Luke. “We have distributed thousands of pounds of food this year through our Main Street kitchen space and in front of Rothenberg Preparatory Academy," a school within the Cincinnati Public School system. "We have also re-booted our youth intern program with an increase in the stipends from $6.00 to $9.00 an hour.”
Our CFM gift came at a time when Permaganic launched a campaign to raise $15,000 to make up for some of the losses incurred this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Our food cart is our biggest fundraiser,” continues Luke. “This year we were shut out of the Hyde Park Farmers Market, along with other vendors, due to COVID.”
CFM pastor Jim Newby, who recently volunteered at a Permaganic workday, says this of the ministry: “It was a joy to participate in the workday at Permaganic. All who were there were able to see the important work that Luke and Angela are doing. Permaganic is the lung of the Over-the-Rhine district in Cincinnati.”
Our gift will assist with supporting stipends to youth, funding free community meals, and opening up additional time for their food pantry. “The CFM gift helps us get closer to our $15,000 goal,” says Luke. “We need to fill the gap in our lost revenues. Many funders want to see a large staff and we have no employees, as all we can afford to pay me is a contractor payment. I’d love to earn a living wage some day. In the meantime, I will not give up on this mission, as I truly believe that this is what God wants me to do.”
Luke and Angela and their three sons are faithful attenders of Cincinnati Friends Meeting.