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Nourishing Neighborhoods

The Food Project has received $10,000 from the Wholesome Wave Foundation as Part of its Nationwide “Nourishing Neighborhoods” Campaign.

Farm-to-Community Programs Make Local, Healthy Food Available to All

Boston, MA (September 8, 2009) – Founded to make locally grown, healthy sustainable foods available to all communities, the Wholesome Wave Foundation announced its grant of $10,000 to The Food Project as part of its “Nourishing Neighborhoods” campaign, which consists of three farm-to-community pilot programs. Created by chef and food policy advocate Michel Nischan and Wholesome Wave Chairman Gus Schumacher, the three pronged campaign consists of the Double Value Coupon Program, the Neighborhood Farm Stand Program and the Market Box Nutrition Program.

  “Calling the Wholesome Wave programs ‘Nourishing Neighborhoods’ signifies our Foundation’s objective of nourishing, not just feeding, Americans in need as well as helping to avert a deepening of our health crisis,” explains Michel Nischan, Wholesome Wave Foundation President and CEO. “These farm-to-community programs are designed to benefit vulnerable consumers as well as our nation’s struggling small scale farmers. The vision is to positively impact the health and wellness of historically excluded communities through direct economic links supporting America’s small farmers.”

The Double Value Coupon Program at farmers' markets and other direct-to-consumer sales outlets affects a triple bottom line. Vulnerable community members including families, their children and seniors who participate in the program can use their SNAP (Food Stamp) electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers, and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program checks at participating farmers’ markets.

The program will double these hunger relief benefits when recipients use them to purchase healthful, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets in or near their neighborhoods. The Double Value Coupon Program:

  • Nourishes neighborhoods in rural and underserved urban communities by increasing access to affordable, healthy food in low-income areas and potentially reducing exploding health care costs while providing support for small scale farmers and producers. 
  • Nourishes our economy by bringing new dollars to farmers and producers selling at local farmers’ markets and keeping Federal and foundation dollars in the local community.
  • Benefits the environment by reducing average "food miles" traveled, and valuing local production and sustainable farming. 

With seed funding from the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation, and local fundraising and ongoing support from partners such as FOOD & WINE Magazine’s Grow for Good Campaign, Newman’s Own Foundation and anonymous major donors, farmers’ markets in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington DC, and San Diego are participating in the Double Value Coupon Program.

Margaret Williams, Executive Director of The Food Project, explains, “Thanks to this innovative program, fresh, local produce is both more available and more affordable in Boston’s neighborhoods where such healthy food is typically unavailable. We are encouraged by the progress that is being made, and are grateful for the support of the Wholesome Wave Foundation.” The Food Project coordinates Boston Bounty Bucks, which provides a dollar-for-dollar match for all SNAP Food Stamp purchases, up to $10, at fourteen farmers’ markets and farm stands in Boston this summer. Through this program, SNAP Food Stamp users can effectively double their money when shopping at any of these markets.

Other participating partner organizations who have made the Double Value Coupon Program possible in their communities include: 

 

“The Double Value Coupon Program provides a healthy fresh fruit and vegetable incentive subsidy to Federal food assistance programs,” added Gus Schumacher, Wholesome Wave Foundation Chairman and former Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “It supports two groups: recipients of food assistance and farmers. Wholesome Wave is fostering these programs in underserved neighborhoods to replicate and to encourage the Federal Government along with their state and local government partners to continue and expand their support.”

The Wholesome Wave Foundation’s Double Value Coupon Program is one of three “Nourishing Neighborhoods” programs Nischan and his team have implemented to support human and environmental well-being, by creating improved access and additional resources to encourage the consumption of pure, local, organic and sustainably grown agricultural products.

Other “Nourishing Neighborhoods” Programs:

Neighborhood Farm Stand Program: Wholesome Wave is bringing farm stands deep within neighborhoods of underserved Bridgeport, Connecticut communities three to five days a week. The Park City Harvest farm stand pilot program, supported by the Double Value Coupon Program, will sell healthy produce from Connecticut farmers.

This "Nourishing Neighborhoods" program is a five-fold stimulus to: 1) create fresh produce availability in "food deserts"; 2) develop local jobs to manage neighborhood "market" stands; 3) improve well-being by offering healthier food choices to vulnerable families; 4) provide income support to the farmers selling in these neighborhoods; and 5) serve as a solid investment in reducing future health care costs by decreasing the growing diabetes and obesity problem.

Market Box Nutrition Program: Through this program, launched at the Norwalk Community Health Center (NCHC), Wholesome Wave purchases surplus fruits and vegetables from its Westport farmers’ market, packs the produce into half-bushel boxes, then delivers the boxes at an affordable and subsidized cost to families that have little access to fresh food. Each box, a $20-25 value, may be purchased for $6 in Food Stamps or Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition vouchers. The program benefits families that want to purchase fresh, locally grown produce but do not have access to transportation or the economic means to shop at farmers markets.

About Wholesome Wave Foundation:

Michel Nischan, President/CEO of Wholesome Wave Foundation, is chef/author/policy advocate and a leader in the sustainable food movement. He founded Wholesome Wave Foundation – with seed funding from the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation - in an effort to make locally grown, sustainable foods available to all. Nischan is a 2008 James Beard Foundation Award winner for his work on the PBS series, Victory Garden and author of two best-selling cookbooks – Taste Pure and Simple; Chronicle Books 2003 (a Beard award winner in 2004) and Homegrown Pure and Simple; Chronicle Books 2005. He serves on the boards of the Amazon Conservation Team, the James Beard Foundation and Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment.

About The Food Project

The Food Project’s mission is to grow a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system. We produce healthy food for residents of the city and suburbs and provide youth leadership opportunities.   Most importantly, we strive to inspire and support others to create change in their own communities.

The Food Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Tax ID: 04-3262532

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