Partnership for a Healthier America Eclipses 2 Million Servings of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Communities in Need through COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund, Announces Colorado Expansion
Date: February 10, 2021
Media Contact: Megan Orciari (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WASHINGTON, DC - The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) – the premier national nonprofit working to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity – has eclipsed 2 million servings of fresh fruits and vegetables distributed to communities in need through its COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund, the organization announced today. PHA will expand its program to Aurora, CO starting this week in response to a continuing need for healthy food and fresh produce in the wake of COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted gross disparities in access to healthy food for many Americans, particularly in low-income communities, said Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America. “Through the COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund, we have successfully fulfilled a critical short-term emergency need for food among thousands of high need households in Colorado and New York, while building healthy habits and using data to bridge affordable access to fresh and healthy food, improving food equity. We are proud to take yet another step today, expanding to Aurora, CO.”
The program first deployed in Denver, CO in May 2020 and has since provided 1.8 million servings of fruits and vegetables to communities in Colorado, along with an additional 240,000 servings to communities in New York. Aurora, CO marks the latest expansion of the program and supports the program’s long term goal of exploring models that build access to fresh produce for underserved communities.
Beginning this week, in coordination with ACTION Zone at Aurora Public Schools and Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora will receive over 14,000 PHA Fresh Boxes of produce in total for 15 weeks at Boston P8, Paris Elementary, Aurora Central High, Aurora West College Prep, and Crawford Elementary distribution sites. PHA is partnering with FreshPoint, a local produce distributor, to procure produce, pack, and deliver these boxes.
Starting the first week of March, in coordination with Aurora Public Housing, Aurora will receive an additional 1,700 “hyper-local” PHA Fresh Boxes over the course of 17 weeks at the Residences at Trolley Park, Residences at Willow Park, Summersong Townhomes, and Residences at First Avenue. PHA is partnering with East Denver Food Hub, a local food aggregator working to develop a resilient, equitable, and compassionate food ecosystem to procure, produce, and pack these boxes, delivered in partnership with Bondadosa, a sustainable logistics platform that leverages technology to support local food producers.
Food Bridge, a local food business incubator and training program for immigrant chefs, will be providing PHA Fresh Box recipients with complimentary culturally relevant recipes designed by local chefs to represent the diverse population of Aurora.
“The PHA COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund is planting a seed for the long-term vision of Children’s Hospital of Colorado and the ACTION Zone in Aurora Public Schools Community School partnership,” said Kate Garvin, Director of Family Advocacy and Community Engagement at Aurora Public Schools. “The community-based Food Clinic will be a hub for the community to come together and build solutions for various social determinants of health. Collectively, we strive to ensure families have a voice in their experience and partner with us to build healthy conditions in North Aurora for all children and families. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in PHA’s program that allows us to support the needs of our community by offering healthy food during this difficult time due to COVID-19.”
“This is a great resource for our residents as it increases access to fresh food,” said Pooja Tandukar, MPH, Community Builder/Service Coordinator at the Housing Authority of the City of Aurora. “We are excited to connect Aurora Housing Authority residents with wholesome foods especially during the ongoing pandemic where we have noticed an increase in food insecurity among the residents. We are grateful for the relief this collaborative program will provide during these tough times.”
The PHA Fresh Boxes are built to offer balanced nutrition, variety, and seasonal flavors to a family of four for approximately one week. The goal is for the boxes, which will be between 20 and 25 pounds, to provide two to three servings of produce per person each day, with a 60-40 ratio of vegetables to fruits. Based on availability and seasonality, local and regional growers will be used to the greatest extent possible.
The COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund was created in partnership with the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) in 2020 and has been funded by ReFED, Novo Nordisk, Wegmans, the New York State Health Foundation, and individual donors. The Aurora expansion is funded in part by an anonymous donation.
About Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA)
PHA’s mission is to leverage the power of the private sector to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA identifies, accelerates, and celebrates voluntary business practices that improve or increase choice or lead to new norms and behavior around food and physical activity. For more information about PHA, please visit www.ahealthieramerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.