2015-10-30 / Front Page

Wolfe’s Neck Farm awarded $50,000

The Times Record


Wolfe’s Neck Farm has received a $50,000 Healthy Food Fund Grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation to expand its Teen Agriculture: Raising Farmers, Feeding Maine program. With this grant the program will expand into year-round vegetable production as it trains youth in sustainable agricultural practices. Building on existing partnerships with local food pantries, Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Teen Ag will provide fresh produce for Maine families facing hunger throughout the year.

With more than 200,000 residents and one in four children experiencing food insecurity, Maine is the most food insecure state in New England and one of the most food insecure in the U.S., including the second highest rate of “very low food security,” according to a new release. In addition, a recent Good Shepherd Food Bank survey revealed that 56 percent of their clientele throughout Maine confront the choice between buying food and paying for heating in the winter, pointing to the need for more fresh produce for food pantries in the colder months.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation awarded a total of $972,916 in new Healthy Food Fund grants to 20 not-for-profit community food initiatives that grow, distribute and/or market fresh food in Connecticut,

Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

In the four years since its inception, Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Teen Ag youth have contributed literally tons of local, nutritious produce to families-in-need as participants in Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Mainers Feeding Mainers program and through partnerships with the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program in Brunswick, the Bath Area Food Bank and Freeport Community Services. This year, the program started offering Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares at a substantially reduced price for SNAP recipients. With Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation funds Wolfe’s Neck Farm will build infrastructure to grow crops through the winter, raise overall production, and increase availability of fresh fruits and vegetables for SNAP recipients and through food pantries.

“We are thrilled to have been selected to address hunger and nutrition in our communities and New England along with such a fantastic cohort of food system innovators,” said Dave Herring, executive director of Wolfe’s Neck Farm. “We look forward to developing our Teen Ag program as a model for sustainable agriculture and food system education that brings thousands of pounds of fresh, nutritious food to community members who wouldn’t have access otherwise.”

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