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NH Register NHF-FHCHC Partnership and More

The New Haven Register highlights the partnership between the Fair Haven Community Health Center’s (FHCHC) Diabetes Prevention Program and New Haven Farms’ Farm-Based Wellness Program in a recent feature story from August 15.

In addition to patients referred from FHCHC, our 2015 program also includes referrals from healthcare partners at Cornell-Scott Hill Health Center, Yale Primary Care, and the Connecticut Mental Health Center.  The Farm-Based Wellness Program’s referral system allows participants to stay connected to a continuum of care through their health providers.

The Farm-Based Wellness Program, free to all participants and their families, is made possible largely through the generous support of private donors and foundations.  This year Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation funded Celin Garcia, New Haven Farms’ bilingual Cooking and Nutrition Educator, and Jamilah George, the Youth Program Educator, along with other operational supplies.  While 55 participants are officially enrolled in the program through provider referrals, each participant is also invited to bring immediate family members to experience the adult- or youth-level two-hour classes each week.

Participants go home with a week’s share of the harvest–enough fruits and vegetables to feed 4-5 people.  Farm Manager Jacqueline Maisonpierre helped New Haven Farms produce over 11,500 pounds of food last year on less than 1/2 an acre, and this year New Haven Farms doubled production space with the new Ferry Street Farm made possible by the City of New Haven’s Livable City Initiative.  Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford, CT, also donates additional produce for each week’s share.

This year the City of New Haven, New Haven Farms, and other organizations are partnering  on Health in Your Hands programming through the US Conference of Mayors $120,000 award for New Haven to address childhood obesity in the Hill and Fair Haven neighborhoods. Through complementary initiatives such as the Green Thumb Community Challenge (#GTCNHV) and Community Health Ambassadors, New Haven Farms continues to work with city-wide efforts at the intersection of health and urban farming.

The original collaboration between Fair Haven Community Health Center and New Haven Farms remains strong and has expanded since 2012 through strategic partnerships across healthcare, government, business, philanthropy, and other community contributors.

To learn more, read the New Haven Register‘s front-page feature story here: “Farm Program in New Haven Aims to Reduce Diabetes with Diet, Education.”

Photo Credit: Catherine Avalone – New Haven Register

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