MANCHESTER, NH — A $30,000 boost in the form of a grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation will go a long way in growing New Hampshire Food Bank’s Production Garden.
Expansion of the one-acre site in Manchester where the NH Food Bank grows fresh vegetables for its programs and registered agencies will now be possible.
“Increasing the availability of fresh, locally-grown food for everyone is a health strategy that Harvard Pilgrim Foundation not only believes in, but also supports financially through our Healthy Food Fund,” said Michael Devlin, Director of Grants and Initiatives for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. “We are proud to support the New Hampshire Food Bank’s ability to expand the Production Garden’s season and yield, and deliver fresh, healthy food to residents and communities throughout the state.”
The Harvard Pilgrim Healthy Food Fund grant will allow for the NH Food Bank to begin using season extension techniques in order to produce more food from the site. Low tunnels will be used to produce vegetables into December and throughout the winter, increasing the garden’s production and providing more fresh, local vegetables to clients. The NH Food Bank began implementing these changes on April 1.
“The New Hampshire Food Bank is truly grateful for this generous support from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation,” said Mel Gosselin, Executive Director of the NH Food Bank. “Thanks to this $30,000 grant, the NH Food Bank will be able to produce substantially more food, while also extending the growing season to support those in need. In addition, the positive impact and new opportunities the Production Garden program offers students and volunteers is extremely rewarding.”
The Production Garden serves as a supplemental source of fresh produce and healthy food for clients of the NH Food Bank’s 400 partner agencies. With more than 1,200 volunteers in 2015, the garden is also an outreach tool for volunteers to learn more about the mission of the NH Food Bank and its programs, along with assisting with food production.