Nonprofit Insider

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation Awards Nearly $2.5 Million to More than 900 Organizations in 2016

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation today announced that it awarded nearly $2.5 million in grants to more than 900 nonprofit organizations in more than 300 communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire in 2016. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has granted more than $140 million in funds throughout the four states.

In 2016, more than $1.4 million in grants was distributed to the Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund initiatives within the region, with funds supporting programs that grow, distribute and/or market fresh food for low-income families and communities across the region. (See below for a summary of the Foundation’s 2016 major grant recipients.)

Healthy Food Fund grants included:

  • $952,416 in second-year Healthy Food Fund grants to the 20 not-for-profit community food initiatives in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire that grow, distribute and/or market fresh food to low-income families and communities.
  • $246,000 in the first round of Healthy Aging grants to 24 not-for-profit programs in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. The funded programs helped older adults eat better and stay connected to their communities through community garden, cooking, and nutrition programs.
  • $280,500 to support five mobile farmers’ markets in Worcester and Lowell, Mass., Hartford, Conn., Lewiston/Auburn, Maine; and the seacoast of New Hampshire.

“While we are supporting community growers and markets on the supply side, we are also helping programs that build consumer demand for healthy food,” added Karen Voci, president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. “Through cooking classes, nutrition and shopping education, as well as coupons that double a family’s purchasing power, we can continue to increase customers’ demand for the food grown right here in New England. That’s great for our health, for our environment, and for our economy.”

In addition to the $1.4 million in Healthy Food Fund grants, the Foundation also awarded $612,500 to 771 organizations in 265 communities through Harvard Pilgrim’s Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grants program. This program enables each Harvard Pilgrim Health Care employee to annually award a $500 grant, completely funded by the Foundation, to the charity of his or her choice. Since the inception of this employee-directed community grant program in 2002, the Foundation has contributed more than $5.2 million to thousands of organizations in the region. Areas of support have included schools, food pantries, youth development organizations, and fundraising events.

In 2016, $75,850 was awarded to non-profit partner organizations including Hands on Hartford, City Year, and Cradles to Crayons that support Harvard Pilgrim’s employee service in local communities. Harvard Pilgrim employees contributed $32,000 through the company’s annual giving campaign. These funds, along with $8,000 from the Foundation, were awarded to United Ways of New England for distribution to local non-profits. The Foundation also contributed $5,000 to the OneOrlando Fund to support victims’ families and survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, and $5,000 to support relief efforts in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew.

Through the Foundation’s Health Equity Roundtable program, a $7,000 grant was provided to support Dimock Community Health’s hosting of the Health Equity Roundtable in Boston on transgender health care issues. A full report will be released in early 2017.

A summary of some of the Foundation’s 2016 major grant recipients is included below:

2016 Connecticut Grant Recipients: Total $263,197

  • $60,000 - Hartford Food Systems, Mobile Farmers’ Market
  • $50,000 - New Haven Farms and New Haven Land Trust, Farm-Based Wellness, Cooking and Nutrition Program, incubator garden
  • $50,000 - Green Village Initiative (Bridgeport), Community Gardens Program
  • $45,000 - Brass City Harvest (Waterbury), Healthy Corner Store Initiative; Cooking and Nutrition Classes
  • $40,000 - CT Food Bank (East Haven), Farm-to-Pantry program
  • $1,500 - Hands on Hartford, Harvest Supper and Community Hero award

2016 Maine Grant Recipients: Total $351,544

  • $60,000 - St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center (Lewiston/Auburn) and Cultivating Community, Good Food Bus Mobile Farmers’ Market
  • $50,000 - Cultivating Community (Portland), Expand CSA shares; cooking and nutrition classes
  • $50,000 - Healthy Communities of the Capital Area (Southern Kennebec County), Expand gleaning and food processing through Restorative Community Harvest Program
  • $50,000 - Maine Farmland Trust (Biddeford, Portland, Saco, S. Portland, and Westbrook), SNAP incentives at Farmers’ markets, CSA programs, food hubs, co-ops
  • $50,000 - Wolfe’s Neck Farm Foundation (Greater Bath and Brunswick), Teen Agriculture Program; cooking and nutrition programming
  • $42,000 - Healthy Aging Grants (Statewide), Community gardens and cooking and nutrition classes for older adults
  • $10,000 - Maine Medical Center and Maine Health, Childhood Obesity Prevention Conference

2016 Massachusetts Grant Recipients: Total $974,445

  • $124,000 - Healthy Aging Grants (Statewide), Community gardens and cooking and nutrition classes for older adults
  • $100,000 -- Boys & Girls Clubs (Boston), Farm-to-Family program
  • $60,500 -- Regional Environmental Council (Worcester), Mobile Farmers’ Market
  • $60,000 - Mill City Grows (Lowell), Mobile Farmers Market
  • $50,000 - Boston Area Gleaners (Waltham), Distribution and Delivery Program
  • $50,000 - Gardening the Community (Springfield), Expansion of Walnut St. garden; Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
  • $50,000 - Groundwork Lawrence, CSA program, youth-led urban agriculture program, cooking and nutrition classes
  • $50,000 - Grow Food Northampton, Food Access Northampton; Giving Garden
  • $50,000 - Growing Places (Leominster), Teaching Garden, Garden on the GO, cooking classes
  • $50,000 - Nourishing the North Shore (Newburyport, Amesbury, Salisbury, Rowley, Newbury, West Newbury), Garden and food delivery expansion initiatives, cooking and nutrition classes
  • $39,000 - Community Harvest Project (North Grafton), Volunteer Farming Initiative; Farm-to-Health Center program
  • $30,000 - Boston Children’s Museum, Summer 2017 Healthy Food for Families program
  • $29,000 - Mass in Motion (New Bedford), Subsidized CSA program; cooking and nutrition training
  • $25,000 - City Year (Boston), Service Activities at McKay K-8 School in East Boston; extended day programming support
  • $25,000 - Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc. (Lawrence), Healthy Eating for Active Living Training and Workshops
  • $15,000 - Boston Public Market, Summer 2017 Healthy Food for Families program
  • $14,000 -- Worcester Public Library Foundation, Tatnuck Magnet Elementary School; community garden and library
  • $10,000 -- Cradles to Crayons (Brighton), Ready-for-School backpack campaign
  • $5,000 - Urban Farming Institute of Boston (Roxbury), Conference
  • $5,000 - Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, Support for farmer challenge grant program

2016 New Hampshire Grant Recipients: $240,391

  • $50,000 - Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, Inc. (Laconia), Pop-up Farmers’ Market; cooking demonstrations and community gardens
  • $42,000 - Healthy Aging Grants (Statewide), Community gardens and cooking and nutrition classes for older adults
  • $40,000 - Seacoast Eat Local (Dover), Mobile Farmers’ Market
  • $40,000 - Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) (Berlin), Farmers’ Market Grow Healthy Initiative; Outdoor Teaching Kitchen
  • $40,000 - Health Resources in Action, Inc. (Boston), Healthy Food for NH Families Project
  • $30,000 - New Hampshire Food Bank (Manchester), Production Garden Extension
  • $28,000 - Tamworth Community Nurse Association, Tamworth Farmers’ Market SNAP expansion
  • $10,000 - Endowment for Health (Statewide), Food Access Project
  • $10,000 - Foundation for Healthy Communities (Statewide), Healthy Food Programming of HEAL NH
  • $5,000 - City Year New Hampshire (Manchester), Service Day activities
  • $2,000 - Hitchcock Foundation (Lebanon), Student-led cooking demo at Claremont Soup Kitchen

The Foundation helps build healthy communities by supporting programs that provide access to fresh, healthy food; improve the health of communities impacted by health disparities; and support Harvard Pilgrim employees as they invest their time and talents across the region.

About The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation

Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim's mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve. The Harvard Pilgrim Foundation provides the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In 2016, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded more than $2.4 million in grants to more than 900 nonprofit organizations in the region. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has awarded $140 million in funds and resources throughout the four states. For more information, please visit

Posted on: February 1, 2017
Topics: Award Winners

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