FREEPORT — Wolfe’s Neck Farm (WNF) has announced the first-year impact of its 2016 Harvard Pilgrim Foundation Healthy Food Fund grant.

The $150,000 grant is distributed over three years and has already helped Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Teen Agriculture: Growing Farmers, Feeding Maine (Teen Ag) program increase production by over 45 percent. The program grows all of the farm’s fruits and vegetables and distributes the fresh, local produce to area food pantries.

A recent Good Shepherd Food Bank survey revealed that 56 percent of the clientele throughout Maine confront the choice between buying food and paying for heating in the winter.

Traditionally, the winter offerings are heavily focused on canned or packaged offering but, in response, the Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Teen Ag program constructed a year-round growing infrastructure. Teen Ag harvested 700 pounds of kale, spinach, and carrots for area food pantries from November 2016 through April 2017.

“Thanks to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation’s support, Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Teen Agriculture has undergone unprecedented growth this year,” says Piper Dumont, WNF’s education director. “In addition to year-round growing, we’ve increased our overall production and can better serve our on-site outlets (farm stand, CSA, and our Farm Cafe), while increasing our contributions to local food pantries.”

Since its inception in 2012, Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Teen Ag program has contributed tons of local, nutritious produce to families in need as a participant in Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Mainers Feeding Mainers program, and through partnerships with the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program in Brunswick, the Bath Area Food Bank, Yarmouth Community Pantry, and Freeport Community Services. or

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