nonprofits,local leaders & Grt.New Haven business sharing information
New Haven Farms is one of many organizations vying for the $15k offered by Nature's Path Foods. This would help secure our brand new CSA program to help those in need of access to healthy foods. Predominantly Hispanic and low-income families are invited to participate in New Haven Farms' year-round educational programs. 75% of New Haven Farms' members are referred by their community health center medical provider, in a prescription for produce program that enables us to reach the most underserved and at-risk portions of New Haven.
The New Haven Farms’ Fresh Produce Prescription Program seeks to provide a community based solution to the problem of obesity and poverty related chronic-disease factors. Members who fit the health-risk and economic criteria are enrolled in a 16-week nutrition and farm education program. Farm Members receive fresh and organic farm produce baskets on a weekly basis for the entirety of the program, and are required to attend at least one two-hour on-farm educational session per week for the duration of the program. During those sessions, members are provided with cooking classes and health information that focuses on the nutrient-dense foods that they are receiving that week. They are also taught how to plant, harvest, and tend to vegetables, as well as given vegetable seeds and seedlings to grow in their homes. The physical activity that farm members engage in during their weekly educational sessions provides an additional venue for fitness.
The mission of New Haven Farms is to promote health and community development through urban agriculture. The goal is to establish and cultivate year-round urban farms that produce nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits, in collaboration with community members who are both within 200% of the federal poverty level and suffering from diabetes, prediabetes, or have at least two risk factors for diabetes. This Gardens for Good grant will allow New Haven Farms to partner with the Fair Haven Community Health Center (FHCHC) to rigorously build farms in the lowest income neighborhoods of New Haven, and investigate the impact of increased exposure and consumption of fresh, local nutrient-dense foods on this underserved community’s health.
Research increasingly points towards a link between food security and the increased likelihood of Type 2 Diabetes. Specifically, a 2011 study indicated there is 3.3 times greater possibility that Latinas in an urban setting will get Type 2 Diabetes as a direct result of food insecurity . FHCHC reports that in 2012, 58 percent of the children (1,501 out of a total of 2,600) are overweight or obese (BMI>85 percent), an increase from 45 percent found in a study in 2003-20042. Given the high percentage of obese patients seen by clinicians at the FHCHC, our census data of the neighborhood, and the aforementioned research, New Haven Farms feels it is uniquely poised to directly impact the health risks of the low income population of New Haven through urban agriculture.
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