New Haven Farms has received a $20,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman.
The grant supports New Haven Farms’ mission to promote health and community development through its Farm-Based Wellness Program, which has supported over 200 participants referred by healthcare providers since 2012. The 16-20 week program responds to intertwined challenges of food security and diet-related chronic illness like Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Participants receive urban farming, cooking, and nutrition education in a two-hour weekly session and then take home a family-sized share of produce grown on New Haven farm sites.
The grant will also support new initiatives at New Haven Farms to develop leadership opportunities for past participants. Sharing personal stories with referred patients and providers, mentoring new participants, and leading community-based groups through the off-season generate community development with, not only for, the participants.
Executive Director James Jenkins believes the new program responds to the question he often hears, “What’s next?” While the Farm-Based Wellness Program referral system currently integrates with ongoing primary care, participants want opportunities to continue the farm-based community of support after the program.
These next steps are also advancing with the City of New Haven on its Health in Your Hands initiative to address childhood obesity in the Hill and Fair Haven neighborhoods. The US Conference of Mayors award to the City of New Haven earlier this year will also support New Haven Farms’ initiative to cultivate Community Health Ambassadors.
“The City’s partnership with New Haven Farm has contributed to more awareness and involved more residents learning how to grow fresh produce near where they live to decrease fresh food insecurities associated with chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and other functional limitations,” says Dr. Martha Okafor, New Haven’s Community Services Administrator and key partner connecting Mayor Toni Harp’s vision for healthy communities with New Haven Farms and other local organizations through Health in Your Hands. “With this award, participants of New Haven Farms will be further developed as leaders to cultivate a culture of health in their neighborhoods.”
Healthcare and public health concerns intersect at New Haven Farms for a transformative path from patient to participant. Leadership opportunities are the next step. Past participants growing food together at the Incubator Garden on Ferry Street or volunteering at the Wellness Program already show the ongoing sense of community is a “once in, never out” culture at the heart of New Haven Farms.
“New Haven Farms’ innovative programming is a national leader in the development of principles and strategies for healthy cooking and sustainable farming,” says Dr. Sanjeet K. Baidwan M.D., Chief Resident in Advocacy & Community Health in Yale Department of Medicine’s Primary Care Program. “By addressing the pressing need to change diets to improve health, New Haven Farms is on the forefront of a paradigm shift in medicine, where prevention is the cure.”
Newman’s Own Foundation turns all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own products into charitable donations. To date, Paul Newman’s Own Foundation has given over $430 million to thousands of charities around the world.
About New Haven Farms:
New Haven Farms grows organic, nutritious food on eight high-production organic farm sites in collaboration with healthcare, business, philanthropic, and government leadership. Last year New Haven Farms produced 11,500 pounds of food on ½ acre of land to respond to food security needs. The Farm-Based Wellness Program combines food access, education, and community development to low-income participants at risk for diet-related chronic illness.
For media inquires please contact James Jenkins, New Haven Farms Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.