Danbury Farmers’ Market Collaborative Receives Grant 

The Greater Danbury Farmers’ Market Community Collaborative (DFMCC) has announced that they have received a $10,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) to help fund the group’s initiative to promote health and nutrition while expanding opportunities for families with limited resources to obtain local fresh foods from the Danbury Farmers’ Market.

The Collaborative is comprised of more than thirty private, public and non-profit organizations dedicated to expanding utilization of the Danbury Farmers’ Market in order to encourage access to fresh foods by all members of the community and enhance health promotion efforts to prevent chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.  The market is open every Friday from 11 am to 4 pm through October 28, 2011 in Kennedy Park at the corner of Main Street and Kennedy Avenue in Danbury.  The market is overseen by CityCenter Danbury and offers a wide selection of fresh Connecticut grown fruits and vegetable, shellfish, baked goods and other specialty food items.

In a press release issued by the Collaborative, City Center Executive Director Andrea Gartner expressed gratitude to the Fairfield County Community Foundation for their generous support and noted that CityCenter is “excited to be part of this cooperative effort that will encourage economic activity in downtown Danbury while addressing serious health needs in the community.”

The initiative grew out of discussions between Ms. Gartner, Danbury Housing Partnership member Denise Valeri and Health Education Consultant Peggy Zamore about how to provide health education services to the community and encourage seniors and low-income families to access the healthy foods available at the Farmers’ Market. After a successful pilot program in 2009, the Collaborative launched a full-scale program in 2010 with the support of FCCF and other community partners. 

The grant from FCCF will enable government food benefit recipients to double the value of their purchases and ensure that SNAP/EBT (formerly “food stamps”) participants will have access to the healthy food items and associated services provided at the market.  A new “Fruit and Veggie Voucher” program initiated by the Collaborative with financial support from CityCenter will enable residents with limited incomes but not qualifying for government benefits to obtain extra dollars for market purchases through Collaborative partners.  HARTransit will also be providing bus passes to eligible participants to make transportation to the market more accessible to area families, seniors and veterans. 

For more information about events and activities connected with the Danbury Farmers’ Market please visit www.citycenterdanbury.org or call 203-792-1711.