Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation Awards Nearly $620k in New Healthy Food Fund Grants to 25 Not-For-Profit Fresh Food Access Programs

Feb 22, 2019
Brings total Harvard Pilgrim Healthy Food Fund grants since launch in 2016 to $4.6 million; new grants to support volunteer-powered community food programs bringing fresh, local food to low-income families in region

(Wellesley, MA) – Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation today announced it has awarded nearly $620,000 in new Healthy Food Fund grants to 25 not-for-profit community food access initiatives that grow, glean or distribute fresh produce to low-income families and older adults in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Grant awards are renewable for two additional years. These new grants bring the total amount of Healthy Food Fund grants since the program was launched in 2016 to $4.6 million.

“Our goal for this next phase of the Harvard Pilgrim Healthy Food Fund is to mobilize the energy of local community members and corporate volunteers to grow, glean and provide more free, fresh produce for low income families across New England, creating a movement of ‘neighbors feeding neighbors’,” said Karen Voci, President of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. “Helping families eat in healthier ways, and encouraging support for food system improvements, we believe will lead to healthier people and healthier communities.”

The new 2019 Healthy Food Fund grant recipients are as follows: 2019 Connecticut Healthy Food Fund Grant Recipients: Total $108,991
o $22,640 – Fairgate Farm (Stamford), Building volunteer participation, access and consumption of healthy, locally-grown organic produce.
o $21,351 – Grow Windham (Windham), Creating a just food system in Willimantic and working with local farmers to glean excess produce for pantries in the community.
 o $25,000 – Keney Park Sustainability Project (Hartford), Expanding the mobile teaching kitchen's nutrition education programs and vegetable production at the Keney Park Urban Agriculture Education site.
 o $15,000 – New Britain ROOTS (New Britain), Building a community engagement program at community gardens and youth-run urban farm.
o $25,000 – New Haven Farms (New Haven), Expanding community volunteer opportunities and the Growing Entrepreneurs program for New Haven high school-aged students. 2019 Maine Healthy Food Fund Grant Recipients: Total $125,000
o $25,000 – Cumberland County Food Security (Portland), Expand the Cumberland County Gleaning Initiative by recruiting more farmers, volunteers and residents.
o $25,000 – Healthy Acadia (Ellsworth), Enhancing volunteer support for gleaning program; harvesting produce on nearby farms and delivering produce to food pantries, meal programs, and other community organizations.
o $25,000 – Maine Farmland Trust (Biddeford, Portland, Saco, S. Portland, and Westbrook), Support outreach for ‘Veggies for All,’ a food bank farm that distributes locally-grown and gleaned produce at Maine food pantries.
o $25,000 – Penquis CAP (Bangor), Increase fresh food access to low income Mainers in MidCoast and the Islands through gleaning and safe storage of seasonal crops.
o $25,000 – Twin Villages Foodbank Farm (Damariscotta), Growing vegetables for food pantries and low-income food programs serving the coastal communities of Lincoln County, Maine. 2019 Massachusetts Healthy Food Fund Grant Recipients: Total $249,689
o $25,000 – Boston Area Gleaners (Waltham), Strengthen volunteer recruitment and support systems to harvest more surplus food for redistribution to food security organizations.
o $25,000 – Community Harvest Project (North Grafton), Increase fresh produce grown and distributed to food insecure partners, expand the Volunteer Farming Program, and expand educational programming.
o $25,000 – Gardening the Community (Springfield), Strengthen youth and community volunteer programs, create more opportunities for youth leadership development and engage more people in growing healthy food for Springfield families.
o $25,000 – Grow Food Northampton, Enhance capacity to grow and distribute quality vegetables to food pantry and meal site partners through increased volunteer engagement.
o $24,989 – Growing Places (Leominster), Expand volunteer involvement and connect underserved North Central Mass. communities with fresh, healthy produce.
o $25,000 – Groundwork Lawrence, Increase volunteerism at Costello Urban Farm to grow more produce, deepen fresh food impact, and broaden community engagement.
o $24,700 –Just Roots, Inc.(Greenfield), Grow and Glean program will increase distribution of local, healthy produce from farm to community.
o $25,000 –Madison Park Development Corps (Roxbury), Strengthen community garden/nutrition education efforts by building capacity among gardeners who are MPDC affordable housing residents and other volunteers.
 o $25,000 – Nourishing the North Shore (Newburyport, Amesbury, Salisbury, Rowley, Newbury, West Newbury), Expand volunteer-driven healthy, local food distribution channel, the VEGOUT Mobile Market, which supports low and middle-income community members on the North Shore.
o $25,000 – Urban Farming Institute (Boston), Growing, planting, and harvesting food with youth to distribute a portion to seniors and families in need. 2019 New Hampshire Healthy Food Fund Grant Recipients: Total $120,000
o $25,000 – Gather (Portsmouth), Increase the amount of fresh healthy food provided to the Seacoast community by strengthening volunteer recruitment and management capacity.
o $20,000 – Greater Nashua Food Council (Nashua), Expand volunteer program for gleaning, community gardening, and fresh produce distribution in Greater Nashua.
o $25,000 – New Hampshire Food Bank (Statewide), Increase access to fresh foods through expansion of the Fresh Food Pantry, North Country Farmers’ Cooperative and Mobile Food Pantries.
o $25,000 – Taproot (Lancaster), Outreach efforts with farmers, backyard gardeners, and recipient organizations; purchase equipment to preserve fresh produce during the gleaning season.
o $25,000 – Willing Hands Enterprises (Lebanon), Expand volunteer-led gardening and gleaning programs and double the amount of locally-grown food delivered to food-insecure members of community.

In 2018, more than $925,000 in grants was distributed to the Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund initiatives within the region, with funds supporting programs that grow, distribute and/or market fresh food for families and communities across the region. The total dollar value of healthy food reaching households in communities across the region since 2016 is $4.9 million. About The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim's mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve. The Harvard Pilgrim Foundation provides the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In 2018, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded more than $1.25 million in grants to 855 nonprofit organizations in the region. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has awarded $150 million in funds and resources throughout the four states. For more information, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org/foundation. ###