Coastal Foodshed Gets $90K to Bring Healthy Food to SE Mass.
April 7, 2022 — Coastal Foodshed, a New Bedford nonprofit that works to support small farm operations and make it easier for customers to purchase local food, yesterday was awarded $90,000 from the Point32Health Foundation to increase access to healthy food in southeast Massachusetts.
“Through this grant, Coastal Foodshed will continue to increase equitable access to locally grown fruits, vegetables and healthy foods across the Southcoast and within many of New Bedford’s historically marginalized neighborhoods,” said Stephanie Perks, executive director at Coastal Foodshed. “We could not be more grateful to Point32Health Foundation for continuing to fund our work.”
The new, three-year grant builds on earlier foundation funding to Coastal Foodshed to transition its pilot mobile farmers’ market to a full-scale program.
“There is inequitable access to healthy food,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Point32Health Foundation. “The pandemic disproportionately affects communities of color, older adults, and people with low incomes. It is critical to make nutritious, affordable food more available to address these equities and make communities work for everyone.”
Founded in 2017, Coastal Foodshed aims to strengthen the local food economy by creating the supply chain infrastructure that supports small farm operations and growth and makes it easier for customers to purchase local food.
Coastal Foodshed accepts EBT/SNAP benefits and offers incentive programs improving access to fresh, local and healthy food for those experiencing economic uncertainty.
Coastal Foodshed’s long-term plans includes building the infrastructure needed to get more local food into grocery stores and restaurants, as well as through direct-to-customer channels that will ultimately increase consumer access to healthy, local foods and produce.
During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020-2021, Coastal Foodshed sold local produce and foods valued at $200,000 through its three principal programs. Currently, 37 local farmers and food makers sell their food through the organization.
Coastal Foodshed also operates a virtual farmers market which enables people to place orders online and then receive food delivered to their home or pick it up in New Bedford.
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