NEW HAVEN, Conn. (October 26, 2015) — New Haven Farms and the New Haven Land Trust have been awarded a $50,000 Healthy Food Fund grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation (HPHCF) to increase access to fresh food for New Haven families and communities. Funds will support New Haven Farms’ Farm-Based Wellness Program, expand the jointly-run Incubator Garden, support community garden education through the Land Trust, and provide subsidized CSA shares.
The $50,000 award, renewable for two additional years and shared with the New Haven Land Trust for a total of $150,000, is the largest gift to date for New Haven Farms. Harvard Pilgrim Foundation has supported the Farm-Based Wellness Program for the past two years.
“New Haven Farms empowers people to take control of their own health through diet and lifestyle changes,” Farm Manager Jacqueline Maisonpierre states. “I feel fortunate to use organic farming as a tool to improve people’s health with regards to chronic disease—a meaningful and sustainable solution to a complex problem. It’s incredible to see people take ownership over their own future.”
This multi-year commitment affirms the 22 families who said “yes” this past winter to Maisonpierre’s invitation to join the Incubator Garden. Past participants of the Farm-Based Wellness Program were eager for opportunities to continue with New Haven Farms, and the new Ferry Street Farm adjacent to the existing Land Trust community garden gave the two organizations an innovative opportunity to respond to this need.
“When we write the 30-year history of New Haven Farms, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation will be acknowledged as a pioneering partner for wellness opportunities that integrate fresh food access, education, and urban farming,” says James Jenkins, Executive Director of New Haven Farms. “This moment celebrates what a participant shared earlier this year—‘We’re doing this!’ Those individuals New Haven Farms first served now co-lead the generative community at the heart of our mission.”
Wellness program participants will now have choices to continue into the Incubator Garden or other Land Trust community gardens. Additionally, produce grown through New Haven Farms will also be available for community members to purchase, whether they participate in the wellness programs or not.
The New Haven Farms and the New Haven Land Trust collaboration demonstrates how sharing different strengths in urban agriculture can create new pathways for food access and community development.
Photo Credit: Catherine Avalone / New Haven Register