MARION, Ohio — Becky Kindred is a mother, a third-generation farmer and the founder of a non-profit organization that combines the two.
“When I first started, it was just a support group. That’s all we really were in the beginning, so to see how far we’ve come—and not even the produce but the families we’ve been able to help,” said Kindred.
Kindred is talking about Autism Support and More, her nonprofit organization that serves as a support group for families who have children with disabilities.
But in order to help fund it, Kindred created a separate business with a similar name.
Autism Support and More Urban Farms (AS&M) makes money from the produce Kindred and her husband grow on their farm.
“Getting the funding to back to nonprofit was probably the hardest struggle we had which is why we felt so passionate about putting the two together.”
AS&M Urban Farms is two-fold. While she sells some produce to raise money for her nonprofit, she also gives some of it away to the people who need it most.
It’s a mission that’s personal for Kindred.
“We have two daughters with autism. Three children all together. Our middle daughter had digestive issues, and she had nine hospitalizations in two years and ultimately ended up on a feeding tube. We had reached out to several organizations and everyone said go to the food pantry and the food pantry is amazing, but my daughter can’t eat the processed food that is given. So, we knew at that time that we needed to find another way for other families as well.”
And she’s done just that. She now has four farms and now sells her produce to the Marion community in addition to donating it.