HEADLINES

Fairfield County Community’s Foundation Grant to CityCenter Danbury Farmers’ Market supports fresh food for all

Fairfield County Community’s Foundation Grant to CityCenter Danbury Farmers’ Market supports fresh food for all

A very generous $34,500 grant from the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF) enabled the CityCenter Danbury Farmers’ Market to continue through the entire season, to offer fresh local produce to people who might otherwise not have access to healthy options.

Fairfield County's Community Foundation awarded the grant to support Better Food for Better Health, a program that serves seniors, veterans, women, children and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly Food Stamps, recipients.

Peggy Zamore, nutritionist, and coordinator of the market, which is managed by CityCenter Danbury, said that “over the eight years working together, the foundation has now awarded $175,200 in grant dollars for the work of the Danbury Farmers’ Market Community Collaborative. That is a huge amount of funding and much appreciated by the collaborative and the community. Without this critical continued support from the Community Foundation, our programs wouldn't be possible.”

Among the services supported by FCCF funding are:  Accepting and matching SNAP, up to $25 per week, by enabling SNAP recipients to use their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.  Matching state Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers, up to $9 per week, for low-income seniors and recipients of The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.  Providing Market Fruit & Veggie gift certificates for veterans.  Working with the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut, the Danbury Community Health Center, AmeriCares and the United Way to provide market produce certificates for health to clients in need, who typically do not have access to other food supplement programs.  Making bus passes available through HARTransit to those who need a ride home.  Nutrition, Health & Fitness information and classes.

Support from the Community Foundation has enabled the farmers’ market to build the capacity and experience to take on additional significant projects, demonstrating the market is a well-established, stable entity attracting other funding sources. The overall FCCF funding level increased four-fold since the first funded year, making possible programs for veterans, seniors and SNAP recipients to grow. Leveraging this funding, the market receives significant marketing funding from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture based on the strong platform developed.

The Community Foundation supports the multiple program incentive dollars for healthy food along with the core project infrastructure critical to providing nutrition incentives. Funds are used to support the essential bilingual (English and Spanish) onsite manager and community engagement coordinator who, with the help of collaborative volunteers, provides the pre-market programing and staffs the market each week. A significant number of those served speak solely Spanish.

The Danbury Farmers’ Market’s highly successful season has come to an end. It will open again at the end of June, 2018 and run every Saturday through October at the CityCenter Green. For more information, call CityCenter Danbury at (203) 792 1711 or visit www.danburyfarmersmarket.org.

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation: The Community Foundation envisions a vital and inclusive community where every individual has the opportunity to thrive, and promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community.

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