Farm It Forward

Farm It Forward was conceived by farmers Ben Shields and Patricia Parker of Ben’s Produce. “Farm It Forward is about helping food insecure people in our area have access to locally grown healthy foods,” Shields said. “Community is very important to us; our mission is to strive for healthier people, community and agriculture by growing and sharing the best food we can. Working with AHA on this project has enabled us to connect with people who are food insecure but not necessarily receiving benefits for food.”

AHA coordinated with Energize!, a WakeMed Pediatric Diabetes Program to identify Farm It Forward shares recipients. Energize is dedicated to helping kids aged 6 to 18 reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and the program teaches young people and their families how to build lifelong healthy attitudes about food and fitness.

“Connecting Farm It Forward with Energize is a great way to increase access to healthy foods for people in
Wake County who have a real need,” commented Laura Aiken, director of AHA and community outreach forWakeMed. “Plus this engages farmers and provides an additional way to support them. CSAs help farmersas community members invest financially in local farms and help defray the significant costs of planting for a season by purchasing shares,” Aiken added. Farm It Forward launches this spring with support from AHA andfinancial donations from the community.

How Can You Help?
Farm It Forward launches early this summer with support from AHA and financial donations from the community. Stop by Market this week (auction and raffle sales end after dinner on Saturday night),and donations are welcome; checks payable to WakeMed with Advocates for Health in Action in the subject line may be mailed to WakeMed, 3000 New Bern Ave., Raleigh, NC 27610, ATTN: Laura Aiken. You may also support

About Advocates for Health in Action
Advocates for Health in Action (AHA) is a group of more than 50 diverse organizations and community members who are shaping the environment throughout Wake County so healthful eating and physical activity are the way of life. AHA works to achieve its mission by shaping policy and environments that ensure available and affordable access to healthful foods and physical activity for all community members.

About Cooking Matters
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle also is a partner in this effort and will provide Farm It Forward share recipients with a free six-week cooking class, Cooking Matters, to help them learn how to cook with and enjoy all the produce from their boxes. Cooking Matters teaches participants how to get the most nutrition out of a limited budget through hands-on, cooking-based nutrition classes. Volunteer culinary and nutrition experts teach these six-week courses through a nationally developed curriculum where participants learn to make educated choices about how to grow, cook, and eat the best food possible.

About New Grass Gardens
New Grass Gardens is an urban farming venture in Raleigh that began with a few small raised beds, two
people and a bag of donated seeds. New Grass Gardens grows biointensively, capitalizing on the discarded
and overlooked resources of the city. Through cooperative resource redistribution, community education and
dedication to stewardship, New Grass Gardens hopes to illuminate system problems in our food systems and
offer an alternative: grow where you are. New Grass Gardens sells its foods at NOFO @ the Pig and via CSA shares.