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Farm Fresh Healthy Living Program

Farm Fresh Healthy Living Program (FFHL), is a local initiative to address limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables among low-income families through a program combining education and empowerment.  FFHL is a partnership of the Wake Forest Translational Science Institute, Harmony Ridge Farms, and several Triad non-profits.

The program’s mission is to promote the consumption of healthy, locally-produced food by low-income families in the Piedmont Triad. The program envisions a local food system in which all families, regardless of their economic means, have equal access to healthy, locally-produced food.

FFHL empowers participating families to make healthy choices by providing them with fresh, locally grown produce and educational resources on better nutrition practices.  This includes a 16-week share of seasonal produce; a 3-session, hands-on program of cooking classes focused on incorporating fresh produce into family meals; and a farm tour to establish a connection between families and the farm.  FFHL is coordinated through established non-profits already serving low-income families.  The program has grown from 25 families in 2012, to 90 families in 2015.  Evaluation of FFHL has shown its success: participating families consume an increased amount and variety of healthy food, and they have strongly positive experiences.

The program started with funds from a federal grant and in-kind donations from Harmony Ridge Farms.  It is now sustained by donations to a fund held by the Winston-Salem Foundation from individuals in the Triad, by grants from corporate sponsors, and, beginning in 2014, a small weekly payment from participating families.

This research has been facilitated by Dr. Sara Quandt and Dr. Thomas Arcury.