We believe that organic growing can take place everywhere and assist all populations in accessing healthy food. Our Food Access program strives to assist communities of color struggling with structural racism; health disparities, few or poorly functioning supermarkets, and poverty. Together we work to grow healthy food through organic growing education, support for community gardens and partnering with local organizations to use urban gardening to increase food access.
NOFA/Mass, through programming in Springfield and Boston, has been able to assist in curbing aspects of food insecurity.
Home City Housing Carbon Gardening Youth Leader Program
NOFA/Mass is in the second year work with Home City Housing’s Carbon Gardening Youth Leader Program. Home City Housing is a grouping of low income housing units (spread across Tapley Court Apartments, Liberty Street Apartments and Twigs Scattered Sites) nestled in Springfield’s Mason Square Neighborhoods. This area has no supermarkets and could be labeled a food swamp. NOFA/Mass has partnered with this housing development to work with youth ages 14 to 21 to manage their community garden, teach organic soil health and organic gardening techniques and grow food for their local food pantry. NOFA also worked with other partners for field trips such as going to the Urban Farming Institute in Boston, Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham and Garden The Community in Springfield, MA. Through these partnerships, NOFA is working to assist in bringing healthy produce to the Mason Square Area.
Tapley Court Community Garden
Urban Gardening Training Program (Springfield, MA)
In Springfield NOFA/Mass has started a program to help build the skills of resident and community gardeners. This program will bring a wealth of information from community partners, NOFA/Mass farmers, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and local urban growers together to help six Mason Square residents build the tools to succeed as community garden specialists and teachers.