ISSUE: West Side neighborhood residents face many barriers to becoming economically self-sufficient. The U.S. Census Bureau reports poverty rates of 15.4% in Census Tract 214 and 18.1% in Census Tract 215, compared to 9.2% in Stamford, 9.9% throughout Connecticut. Despite being in one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, Stamford faces many disparities in wealth, health, education, and food security among its growing and diverse population. Technological and social changes, along with traumatic national and global events, can further exasperate feelings of stress, isolation, and disconnection from one’s community.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE: Fairgate Farm stands in the heart of the West Side community, welcoming all individuals to interact with the Farm community in their own way. Individual and group volunteer experiences are held throughout the year. The Farm offers many free classes including growing your own food, healthy cooking demonstrations, composting, yoga, Nature Therapy, and more, all meant to help residents improve many aspects of their lives. The Fairgate Farm Market was established to make healthy food accessible and affordable to address food insecurity. Fairgate Farm also hosts fun, community events regularly each year such as Harvest Day and the Strawberry Festival.
- Fairgate Farm is a hub of human connection
- Through volunteering, individuals find a sense of purpose and belonging, often building friendships and bonds with other volunteers
- Food donations and the Fairgate Farm Market help those in the community be less food secure
- Individuals being exposed to new foods and cultures
- Public space to connect to nature