ISSUE: Lack of knowledge about preparing healthy meals and good nutrition is a significant barrier for low-income individuals. Community members often aren’t aware of the benefits of local food; do not have skills in easily preparing fresh food; and are challenged making healthy options attractive to children. Additionally, Stamford’s urban environment can have the effect of distancing low-income residents from the agricultural origins of the food they eat. Stamford’s low-income neighborhoods have disproportionate rates of chronic illness and negative social determinants of health relative to the metro region and overall state. Obesity is ranked as the #1 most significant health problem in the community.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE: Fairgate Farm has helped expand health food options by offering a consistent variety of educational opportunities including informative garden tours, hands-on farming experiences, and public classes on a range of topics such as organic gardening, composting, and healthy cooking demonstrations. Over the years, thousands of Stamford youth have visited the Farm, being exposed to a range of healthy food options, how food is grown, and the environmental impact of the food system. The “Farmer’s Kitchen” series of classes consists of healthy cooking demonstrations and health discussions held during the growing season. Additional classes and workshops are offered pertaining to food, health, gardening, composting, and environmental issues.
- Individuals developing healthier habits contributing to better health outcomes
- Greater knowledge of food system choices and options
- Better informed food shoppers
- More capable gardeners leading to self sufficiency
- More aware of environmental issues like the impacts of food waste and climate change