Gardening Grant for CMHC
The CMHC Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $3,000 from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund. The funds will be used to expand and sustain the Good Neighbor Garden project.
The Good Neighbor Garden was initially spearheaded in 2013 by Geanine Peck, APRN, (CMHC Assoc. Director of Acute Services), in partnership with the New Haven Land Trust, the Hill North Neighborhood Association, and Advanced Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, in an effort to transform an empty urban lot into a community garden. The result was the Hill North Community Garden, located just 2 blocks from the CMHC. The total garden lot is 6,000 sq. ft. with 3,500 sq. ft. of growing space in 8 raised planting boxes, including one wheelchair accessible box. The garden was created with the intention of providing new opportunities for CMHC clients to make small changes in their diet by growing and harvesting fresh vegetables together.
Over the past three years, staff at the CMHC have worked diligently with clients to incorporate the Good Neighbor Garden project into their seasonal activities and programs. As a result, clients at the CMHC have gained outdoor physical activity while learning more about the health benefits of gardening and eating a diet high in fresh foods. In the words of Kyle Pedersen, Director of the CMHC Foundation, “The Good Neighbor Garden Project improves community health and wellbeing in unique ways. It brings CMHC together with its neighbors to grow and harvest healthy food and to cultivate nurturing relationships.”
The CMHC intends to use the grant to increase the produce yield and to maintain the garden. The funds will be used to purchase lumber, bulk garden material, and plants to build 3 additional planting boxes, as well as to purchase new supplies and equipment such as gardening tools, water hoses, and a bobcat loader rental.
The Harvard Pilgrim Healthy Food Fund (HPHFF) seeks to support not-for-profit organizations distributing fresh food to families in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This year, the HPHFF conducted a very competitive selection for grants: the CMHC Foundation’s proposal was one of 106 submitted throughout the region. The CMHC Foundation is proud to partner with the HPHFF in an effort to expand access and affordability of fresh, local food to New Haven residents.