Food Access Partners

Beginning in 2008, World PEAS established a low-income food access program to ensure equitable access to fresh fruits and vegetables.   Each year our produce reaches over 2,000 individuals in the greater Boston area, creating access to fresh, healthy produce that otherwise would not be possible for many residents.  During 2016, World PEAS delivered approximately $85,000 in locally-grown produce to low-income families, seniors and children. 

 

To make this work possible, World PEAS partners with organizations serving disadvantaged populations to reach clients most effectively. At each organizational site we operate a different model of distribution.  Some partners operate a “farmers market” style for their clients while others use the produce in meals prepared on-site. 

When customers register for a CSA share, they are given the option to donate to our “Fair Share” program that helps fund our Food Access work.  Through Fair Share donations in 2016, World PEAS provided subsidies of over $10,000 for these distributions, and was recognized as a Local Champion by Lowell General Hospital for its accomplishments in providing access to fresh, healthy, locally-produced food for low income individuals in Lowell.

If you are affiliated with an organization that serves low-income clients, and would like to increase food access through your organization, please contact us at nesfp@tufts.edu or call 978-654-6745 to explore partnership opportunities.

 

Thank you so much to our previous and current partners working together to increase food access in the greater Boston area!

 

2016 World PEAS Food Access Partners

Discounted SNAP CSA in Partnership with Department of Transitional Assistance (Lowell, MA): The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) has partnered with World PEAS since 2014 to offer monthly deductions from customer SNAP cards for discounted World PEAS CSA purchases.  If you are interested in participating please contact nesfp@tufts.edu or call 978-654-6745.

Community Teamwork, Inc. Child and Family Services (Lowell, MA): CTI, through its Child and Family Services Program (CFS) offers Head Start/Early Head Start programming.  Eligibility requirements range from economic hardship of the family to developmental disabilities of children.  In 2016, World PEAS provided $5,000 worth of produce, which helps furnish nutritional meals for 270 – 300 low-income CFS school age and day care youth daily in the summer months.  Of that cost, $2,500 worth of produce is subsidized by World PEAS.  New in 2016, CTI received a pilot fall share for eight weeks starting in September.  The share was used in a classroom to introduce children to new vegetables, hopefully finding some new favorites! 

CTI Women, Infant and Children’s Program (Lowell, MA): CTI Women, Infant and Children's (WIC) Program is a free nutrition program for Massachusetts families that provides a wide range of support to Lowell women and children.  WIC’s goal is to keep pregnant, breastfeeding women, and children under age 5 healthy.  WIC provides links to health and social service agencies, as well as food and nutrition services to low or moderate income people in critical stages of growth and development.  In 2016, approximately $3,000 of produce was donated to WIC during the growing season from shares donated by World PEAS CSA customers.     

Lahey Clinic Elder Services Programs (Burlington, Arlington, and Peabody, MA): Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is a physician-led, nonprofit group practice providing compassionate care and superior patient outcomes. Through Lahey’s Community Benefits Initiative, World PEAS provides produce to the Burlington, Peabody, and Arlington Council on Aging Centers.  By partnering with Lahey Clinic, World PEAS is able to provide over $40,000 of senior-specific produce for farmers markets at the three Council on Aging locations.  Seniors walk away with fresh, healthy vegetables, free of charge.

Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services:  Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is a private, non-profit organization providing essential services that promote the dignity and independence of older adults.  Since 1972, SCES has served thousands of clients, the majority of whom are impoverished and in need of assistance with managing daily activities.  SCES and World PEAS work together to provide a senior-specific CSA share distribution, free-of-charge, to 75 low-income seniors in the Somerville/Cambridge area totaling about $1,800.

Medford Farmers Market (Medford, MA):  The Medford Farmers Market (MFF) strengthens Medford’s diverse community through access to fresh, local, healthy and sustainable food.  In 2016, World PEAS provided produce MFF's “Produce in a SNAP” distribution, at which seniors at the Medford Council on Aging received $20 worth of produce for just $5 using their SNAP benefits.  After picking up their produce, seniors can participate in a lively cooking demonstration and tasting.  MFF and World PEAS provided about $5,000 worth of local fresh produce in 2016.  About $1,250 of the cost is subsidized by the World PEAS Fair Share funding.

Merrimack Valley Food Bank (Lowell, MA): The Merrimack Valley Food Bank is a community-supported 501C-3 non-profit organization that provides nutritious food and personal care items to emergency feeding programs serving the low-income, homeless and hungry.  We are one of four food banks in Massachusetts that serves food pantries, shelters and meal programs that in turn, serve individuals and families.

Cameron Senior Center (Westford, MA): The Cameron Senior Center is a focal point where older adults come together for services and activities that reflect their expertise and skills, respond to their diverse needs and interests, enhance their dignity, support their independence, and encourage their involvement in and with the center and community.  World PEAS Food Hub works in a partnership with Friends of the Cameron Senior Center, a nonprofit organization that funds activities at the center, to offer a free farmers' market to the seniors.  In 2016, World PEAS Food Hub provided $9,975 worth of produce to the clients at the Arlington Council on Aging, free of charge to all participants.

Previous World PEAS Food Access Partners

 

In the past we have worked with Metta Health Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Merrimack Valley Elder Services, Lowell Community Health Center, East Boston YMCA, Chelsea and Revere Elders, Health and Social Services Consortium, and Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, Kit Clark Senior Center, Springwell Elder Services, and Bridgewell's Pathfinder Transitional Living Facility.  Over the years our partners have changed for a variety of reasons.  We started modestly, with just one partner in the 2008 season, and got up to 12 partners in 2016, and now we are focusing more exclusively on serving the elderly.  We graciously thank the efforts that our partners put forth to provide their clients with fresh, locally-grown produce.