Food Access Initiatives

In order to address issues of food insecurity, World PEAS established a low-income food access initiative in 2008.  Food insecure households are challenged to access affordable, locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables that are a necessary component of a healthy diet.   

 

Our Goals:

- Increase access by low-income individuals to affordable, healthy local food options

- Increase income earned by low-income farmers through market expansion to low-income communities

Our Food Access initiatives provide fresh fruits and vegetables to over 2,000 individuals yearly, amounting to over $80,000 of locally-grown produce to low-income families, seniors and children.  A total of 30 farmers per year benefit through earned income from sales to low-income communities. 

 

How Can You Help?

The low-income food access program is not possible without financial support to close the gap between what consumers can afford and what farmers need to cover costs of production and earn a living wage.  World PEAS relies on the help of donations through our Fair Share and direct donation options to fund much of our food access work. Read more about each option here.

New Entry continually seeks philanthropic community support for the specific purpose of supporting the low-income food access program.  We are grateful for New Entry’s donors and partners who continue to raise funds for this important low-income food access subsidy.

Thank you!

World PEAS currently distributes produce in partnership with the organizations below:

 

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 will 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.

Kit Clark Senior Center (Dorchester, MA):  Kit Clark Senior Services has helped older adults in Greater Boston live with dignity and independence in the community since 1974.  Kit Clark has an integrated continuum of services that provide support for about 4,000 elders each year.  Kit Clark’s kitchen staff delivers fresh nutritious meals to over 1,200 home bound seniors daily through the Meals on Wheels program.  Other meals are brought to congregate sites where older adults come for socialization, planned activities, and a nutritious meal.  In 2016, Kit Clark purchased over $9,000 worth of produce used in their Meals on Wheels program and fresh produce box deliveries right to 150 home-bound seniors' doorsteps.  The homebound boxes are a great joy for seniors that very rarely receive fresh items in their home.   About $3,000 of the cost was subsidized by World PEAS.
     
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. 

Springwell Elder Services (Waltham, MA):  Springwell is a private, non-profit agency that has been creating, managing, and coordinating services for seniors, individuals with disabilities and those who help care for them for more than 30 years.  In 2016, Springwell and World PEAS provided $1,600 of fresh, locally-grown produce World PEAS produce for seniors.  This program distributes a senior-specific CSA share, free of charge, to 80 low-income seniors in the Waltham area.   

Bridgewell’s Pathfinder Transitional Living facility (Lowell, MA):  Founded in 1958, Bridgewell is a highly respected, nonprofit human services organization providing direct support to individuals living with disabilities, homelessness, and other life challenges. Their Pathfinder drop-in center offers a safe place for homeless individuals in Lowell to have a hot meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), take a shower, wash laundry, and take refuge from the streets. The center supports on average 30 to 40 individuals per day and serves over 36,000 meals annually.  In 2016, New Entry delivered $5,000 worth of produce to Pathfinder’s kitchen for preparation of meals for homeless and low-income individuals, enough to incorporate fresh produce into most of the 3,000 meals served per month at Pathfinder.  Through its Fair Share program, World PEAS subsidized $2,500 of this cost.

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.  Over the years our partners have changed for a variety of reasons.  We started modestly, with just one partner in the 2008 season, and have expanded to 12 partners in 2016.  We graciously thank the efforts that our partners put forth to provide their clients with fresh, locally-grown produce.