Wolfe’s Neck Center Announces Second-Year Impact of 2017 Harvard Pilgrim Healthy Food Fund Grant

Wolfe’s Neck Center Announces Second-Year Impact of 2017 Harvard Pilgrim Healthy Food Fund Grant

Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment has announced the second-year impact of its Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s Healthy Food Fund grant.  Based on an independent evaluation, Wolfe’s Neck Center increased the amount of local produce distributed to low-income families by 57% over the same period last year; and increased the amount of produce sold by 16%.

“Harvard Pilgrim’s continued support of our season extension and charitable giving initiative has allowed us to continue providing fresh wholesome food to our community, year round,” says Fruit & Vegetable Production Manager & Educator, Tom Prohl.  “In addition to donating deeper into the season, we are donating more, and donating a wider variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. This year we are doubly excited, as we gear up to bring food education to the food pantries and beyond!”

In total, the amount of healthy, local produce distributed free to low-income families in the region increased 116 percent over the past two years to nearly 1.8 million pounds of fresh produce, as a result of Harvard Pilgrim Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund contributions; and the amount of produce sold increased 189 percent in the same time period.  The total dollar value of healthy food reaching households in communities across the region since 2016 is $4.9 million.

Of the 25 Healthy Food Fund projects in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, seven are selling healthy local food through Farmers’ Markets, Mobile Markets, subsidized Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, and farm stands; five are distributing food free-to-the-recipients through gleaning, food banks, community meals, and youth agriculture programs; and 13 organizations are engaged in both selling and distribution of fresh local food.

“We are so pleased that now, two years into making these investments, we can demonstrate that nearly two million pounds of fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables are reaching families across the region, measurably improving access to healthy food,” said Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation’s President, Karen Voci.

In 2016, more than $1.57 million 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 low-income families and communities across the region.

Other Healthy Food Fund grantees in Maine include:

  • Mary’s Regional Medical Center (Lewiston/Auburn) and Cultivating Community, Good Food Bus Mobile Farmers’ Market
  • Cultivating Community (Portland), Expand CSA shares; cooking and nutrition classes
  • Healthy Communities of the Capital Area (Southern Kennebec County), Expand gleaning and food processing through Restorative Community Harvest Program
  • Maine Farmland Trust (Biddeford, Portland, Saco, S. Portland, and Westbrook), SNAP incentives at Farmers’ markets, CSA programs, food hubs, co-ops


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 2017, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded more than $2.3 million in grants to more than 900 nonprofit organizations in the region.  Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has awarded $145 million in funds and resources throughout the four states.  For more information, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org/foundation.

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