Massaro Community Farm announced that it has enrolled 12 participants in a free fall vegetable subscription program in partnership with Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, located at Griffin Hospital (PRC). The primary intent of this pilot program is to evaluate a fresh vegetable (CSA) share for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants living in the lower Naugatuck Valley. Together, the farm and the hospital will evaluate participant perspective of a SNAP-supported CSA share with the intention to inform a larger study that will offer a full-season SNAP-supported CSA share.
Participants will visit the farm weekly for several weeks and receive a selection of fall items such as kale, carrots, fennel, kohlrabi, lettuce, winter squash and eggs. They’ll also receive information about the farm, the vegetables and suggested ways to prepare items that may be unfamiliar to them.
Massaro and the PRC hope that results from this pilot will be used to design nutrition education programs through existing Federally funded programs (SNAP-Ed or EFNEP). Such work also ties to the farm’s oversight of 12 community gardens across the Naugatuck Valley towns of Ansonia, Seymour, Shelton, Seymour and Oxford. These gardens broaden community access to fresh vegetables.
Massaro Community Farm donates at least 10% of its harvest all season long to nearby hunger relief agencies. In 2021, the farm began accepting EBT as payment for vegetables, jarred products, eggs and honey. This partnership with the PRC is an example of the farm’s commitment to making healthy food affordable and accessible.
“I feel confident that providing fresh vegetables and being able to collect measurable health impact data from SNAP participants will show that people will choose to eat healthier when they can,” said executive director Caty Poole. “The end result will be a healthier community overall.”
Registration for the farm’s 2022 CSA season is now open. The farm is offering a tiered pricing structure for subscriptions in order to make the CSA accessible at various price points. Fruit and egg shares are available as add-ons, and you can choose to pick up at the farm, or at District in New Haven. At the farm, you can take advantage of u-pick crops like cherry tomatoes, peas, green beans, flowers and herbs, when available.
Massaro Community Farm is a non-profit, certified organic community farm on 57 acres of land whose mission is to keep farming, feed people, and build community. In addition to growing vegetables for seasonal subscribers, the farm donates thousands of pounds each year to hunger relief. The farm serves as a hub of education for all ages and shares its space with the community. The farm’s nature trail is open to the public 365 days a year. For more information, visit our website at www.MassaroFarm.org or contact Executive Director Caty Poole at 203-736-8618 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.