ISSUE: In an area with some of the highest housing costs in the nation, low-income residents must choose the lowest cost options to support their families, which often means choosing fast food and cheap, processed meals. While the four West Side census tracts represent 19% of Stamford’s total population, they contain 35% of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient households in the city. The Community Health Needs Assessment, conducted tri-annually by Stamford Health and the Stamford Health Department, has identified the West Side neighborhood as having a disproportionate share of chronic diseases, including obesity-related diseases. The assessment has consistently found that respondents also ranked food insecurity, poor nutrition, and lack of physical exercise as the greatest challenges that negatively impact health outcomes among children.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE: All volunteers at Fairgate Farm are entitled to receive their fair share of the harvest, for their own use and to enjoy with their families. Throughout the growing season, Fairgate Farm also donates over 2,000 pounds of produce donations to local hunger relief organizations such as public food pantries and prepared meal centers (formerly ‘soup kitchens’). The Fairgate Farm Market, established in 2018, is conveniently located in the heart of the low-income West Side neighborhood, otherwise a food desert, selling fruits and vegetables grown on Fairgate Farm as well as sourcing produce from our local Connecticut farm partners to offer a wide variety of seasonal crops. The market operates in a charitable Pay What You Can model to ensure that fresh fruits and vegetables are affordable to all in need. Since its inception, well over 30,000 pounds of fresh produce have been distributed through the Fairgate Farm Market.
- Increased food security for many individuals
- Community investment in local food system
- Elimination of food desert, replaced with personal empowerment
- More affordable, nutritious food options
- Exposure to wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Long term reduction of chronic health conditions