After an investment of $3.7M from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, DAISA calculated a $9.6M return in the value of healthy foods reaching households in target communities; every $1 invested yielded about $2.5 in food sold/distributed. The above chart shows the initiative’s efforts and the marked increases in total food sales, access points (sales and distribution), partners and skill-building participants.
During the years with the Healthy Food Fund, grantee partners shared programmatic insights and innovations and achieved important outcomes. However, organizations were also able to achieve greater program efficacy and leverage their experiences to boost community engagement. DAISA also learned that 80% of HFF project leaders actively worked on efforts to increase racial equity and diversity within their organizations, through strategies, and via their offering to their customers.
In these times of crisis with COVID-19 and the related disproportionate harm and suffering within communities of color, and now the increase in demonstrations and destruction, it is these same organizations that have the networks, relationships and self-determination to survive with deep resilience and move towards recovery and change. These leaders remind us all that this work is complex and intersects so many aspects of health and well-being, requiring time, support and multi-year funding and investment.
“Due to Harvard Pilgrim's support over the last three years, Growing Places has been able to build capacity to expand from one focus - gardening - to becoming a fresh, healthy food access connector in North Central MA.”
Ayn Yeagle, Executive Director, Growing Places, Leominster, MA; 2019
Read the full Healthy Food Fund: Lessons Learned report to learn more about the results of the first three years of the Healthy Food Fund Initiative (2016-2018).
Check out the case study document Highlighting Impacts of Skill-building Opportunities written by DAISA and Fertile Ground to highlight the success factors and impacts of providing teaching opportunities in nutrition, cooking and other skills.