New Haven Farms’ signature program, the Farm-Based Wellness Program, demonstrates how participation in growing food, cooking and nutrition education, and behavior change interventions positively impacts the health, social capital, and food security of our participants.
The program is a partnership between New Haven Farms and three institutions in New Haven that care for the city’s most medically underserved community members: Fair Haven Community Health Center, Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center, and Yale Primary Care. All three institutions are federally qualified health centers that deliver a full spectrum of medical services to over 50,000 New Haven residents, the majority of whom suffer from diet-related chronic disease risks and economic hardship.
Healthcare providers from the three institutions refer low-income adult patients with diet-related chronic disease risk factors to the Farm-Based Wellness Program. During the 16-20 weeks of the summer growing season, these referred patients and their families come to our Phoenix Press Farm and Hill Farm for weekly 2-hour, bilingual Spanish/English cooking demonstrations, nutrition classes, and gardening lessons.
Each week, participants take home shares of fresh vegetables and fruits grown by New Haven Farms, along with culturally relevant recipes that build upon a foundation of knowledge for improving their health. Youth who attend the Farm-Based Wellness Program receive simultaneous age-appropriate gardening, cooking, and nutrition education.