The Montclair Community Farm Coalition (MCFC) fosters “making the healthy choice the easy choice” by becoming a source of affordable, fresh vegetables for lower income residents of the community. The Coalition’s objective is to benefit the community at large by energizing and engaging youth and other residents to develop green space that produces affordable organic vegetables to sell to low, moderate and middle income residents.

The Township of Montclair, along with the MCFC, will use funds from the USDA Local Foods Promotion Grant Program to expand the availability of locally-grown produce for low and moderate income members of the Montclair community. The Township will help to grow more fresh foods, and will purchase a “mobile farm stand,” which will make produce accessible to more individuals who fall in the “ALICE” (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) category. These individuals do not qualify for food subsidies, but are priced-out from buying produce from local farmer’s markets, as it is extremely cost-prohibitive.

MCFC encompasses two Montclair farm sites: a 3,100 sf site located on Miller Street and a 6,000 sf site at the Montclair Historical Society located on Orange Road. Originally funded by a $5,000 grant in 2011 from Partners for Health plus funding from Investors Bank, Haven Savings Bank, the Township of Montclair, Capital One, Montclair State University and HOMECorp, the coalition, plus a host of community organizations and volunteers recaptured once fallow land and built raised beds, sheds, picnic tables and compost bins adding chickens in 2012. Each growing season, Essex County 4-H sponsors on-site summer farm camps where youth learn to plant, grow and market healthy produce to the community. For more information about MCFC and farm camp, contact Farm Coordinator, Karen Lee, at montclaircommunityfarm@gmail.com or 973-744-1796.

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