New Haven Farms Use Food Access to Build Stronger Communities
New Haven, CT is discovering that the capacity of its local farmers markets in conjunction with an urban school farm, Common Ground, provides a stable and secure source of food for the local community while empowering high school students. The food produced by student-farmers not only encourages them to try vegetables they may normally dismiss, but provides them with a sense of empowerment when they see their work being valued and purchased. The market is also frequented by low-income shoppers who come to double the value of their food stamps; one vendor notes that up to 75 percent of her sales come from EBT (food stamp) users.
By empowering students and enabling low-income households to access affordable, local and fresh produce, the community of New Haven demonstrates resilience that comes from having more than just one bottom line. Read on to learn about the “shared aspirations” of these market vendors to strengthen their community food security.