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January 26, 2018

Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awards more than $2.3M to nonprofits in 2017

About The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation

Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim's mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve. The Harvard Pilgrim Foundation provides the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation awarded more than $2.3 million in grants to more than 900 nonprofit organizations in over 300 communities in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut in 2017.

Since its inception in 1980, the Wellesley, Mass.-based foundation has granted more than $145 million in funds throughout the four states, supporting programs that provide access to fresh, healthy food; improve the health of communities impacted by health disparities; and support Harvard Pilgrim employees as they invest their time and talents across the region.
In 2017, more than $1.57 million in grants was distributed to the foundation's Healthy Food Fund initiatives within the region, with funds supporting programs that grow, distribute and/or market fresh food for families and communities across the region.


Healthy Food Fund grants included:

  • $969,748 in third-year grants to 20 not-for-profit community food initiatives in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
  • $190,905 in the second round of Healthy Aging grants to 23 not-for-profit initiatives in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The funded programs helped older adults eat better and stay connected to their communities through community garden, cooking, and nutrition programs.
  • $260,250 to support five mobile farmers' markets in Worcester and Lowell, Mass., Hartford, Conn., Lewiston/Auburn, Maine; and the seacoast of New Hampshire.

"Over the first two years of the Healthy Food Fund, our independent evaluation shows the amount of local produce distributed to low income families across the region has increased significantly," said Karen Voci, president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. "We are thrilled to see that our small investments in very local organizations can measurably improve access to healthy food."

Harvard Pilgrim’s ‘Mini-Grant’ program

In addition to the $1.57 million in Healthy Food and Healthy Aging grants, the foundation awarded $593,250 to 775 organizations in 213 communities through Harvard Pilgrim's employee-directed Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program. This program enables each Harvard Pilgrim Health Care employee to annually award a $500 grant, completely funded by the foundation, to the charity of his or her choice.

Since the inception of this community grant program in 2002, the foundation has contributed more than $5.7 million to thousands of organizations in the region. Areas of support have included schools, food pantries, youth development organizations, and fundraising events.

In 2017, $39,550 was awarded to nonprofit partner organizations including Hands on Hartford, City Year, and Cradles to Crayons that support Harvard Pilgrim's employee service in local communities.

Harvard Pilgrim employee contributions, made through the company's annual employee fund-raising campaign, along with foundation support, totaled $45,000 and were distributed to United Ways of New England and local nonprofits chosen by employees. The foundation and employees also contributed to various disaster relief efforts including: $14,500 to Hurricane Harvey, $9,400 to Puerto Rico Fund and $8,200 to Hurricane Irma.

Major grant recipients in Maine

The foundation's 2017 major grant recipients in Maine received $308,376:

  • St. Mary's Regional Medical Center (Lewiston/Auburn) and Cultivating Community, Good Food Bus Mobile Farmers' Market: $60,000.
  • Cultivating Community (Portland): Expand CSA shares; cooking and nutrition classes, $50,000.
  • Healthy Communities of the Capital Area (Southern Kennebec County), expand gleaning and food processing through Restorative Community Harvest Program: $50,000.
  • Maine Farmland Trust (Biddeford, Portland, Saco, South Portland, and Westbrook), SNAP incentives at farmers' markets, CSA programs, food hubs, co-ops: $50,000.
  • Wolfe's Neck Farm Foundation (Greater Bath and Brunswick), Teen Agriculture Program; cooking and nutrition programming: $50,000.
  • Healthy Aging Grants (statewide), community gardens and cooking and nutrition classes for older adults: $34,744.
  • Maine Medical Center and Maine Health, Childhood Obesity Prevention Conference: $5,000.


Grants awarded to the other states totaled $818,000 in Massachusetts, $298,993 in New Hampshire and $254,772 in Connecticut.



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