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February 12, 2019

Five Maine ‘healthy food’ nonprofits receive $125K from Harvard Pilgrim

About Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation

Created in 1980 and based in Wellesley, Mass., Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim's mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities it serves throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In 2018, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded more than $1.25 million in grants to 855 nonprofit organizations in the region. Since its inception in 1980, the foundation has awarded $150 million in funds and resources throughout the four states.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has awarded $125,000 to five Maine community food programs, part of the nearly $625,000 in new Healthy Food Fund grants awarded to 25 nonprofits in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The 2019 awards bring the total to $4.6 million of Healthy Food Fund grants awarded since Harvard Pilgrim launched the program in 2016. The new grants support volunteer-based community food programs bringing fresh, local food to low-income families in the region.

"Our goal for this next phase of the Harvard Pilgrim Healthy Food Fund is to mobilize the energy of local community members and corporate volunteers to grow, glean and provide more free, fresh produce for low-income families across New England, creating a movement of 'neighbors feeding neighbors,'" said Karen Voci, president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. "Helping families eat in healthier ways, and encouraging support for food system improvements, we believe will lead to healthier people and healthier communities."

Here are the new 2019 Healthy Food Fund grant recipients in Maine and how they intend to use the money:

  • Cumberland County Food Security, Portland, $25,000: Expand the Cumberland County Gleaning Initiative by recruiting more farmers, volunteers and residents.
  • Healthy Acadia, Ellsworth, $25,000: Enhance volunteer support for gleaning program; harvesting produce on nearby farms and delivering produce to food pantries, meal programs, and other community organizations.
  • Maine Farmland Trust, (Biddeford, Portland, Saco, South Portland and Westbrook), $25,000: Support outreach for 'Veggies for All," a food bank farm that distributes locally grown and gleaned produce at Maine food pantries.
  • Penquis CAP, Bangor, $25,000: Increase fresh food access to low-income Mainers in mid-coast Maine and the islands through gleaning and safe storage of seasonal crops.
  • Twin Villages Foodbank Farm, Damariscotta, $25,000: Growing vegetables for food pantries and low-income food programs serving the coastal communities of Lincoln County.

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