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YCCAC awarded $4,000 grant to combat food insecurity, provide nutrition education

York County Community Action Corporation recently received a $4,000 grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Maine Water to provide food vouchers for the Growing Access to Healthy Eating Resources (GATHER) program, a fruit and vegetable prescription for local families experiencing food insecurity.

“Providers at Nasson Health Care, our Federally Qualified Health Center located in Sanford, prescribe fruits and vegetables to families who either have or are at-risk of diet-related health issues and struggle to pay for food,” said Meaghan Arzberger, Director of Economic Opportunity at YCCAC.  “This grant will enable families to receive vouchers for fruits and vegetables each month for six months, to be redeemed either at the farmer’s market or Hannaford’s. We provide $1 per family member per day, so a family of 6, for example, will receive $186 for the month to purchase fruits and vegetables.”

YCCAC is one of only a few organizations in the country that is both a Community Action Agency and a Federally-Qualified Community Health Center. This enables YCCAC to integrate all of its services across departments to help people lead healthy, secure, and independent lives.

“We are thrilled to help York County Community Action improve access to and affordability of fresh, local produce to families who need it most as a prescription for good health,” said Pamela Blackman, Customer Service Manager at Maine Water based in Saco.  “We are proud to partner with Harvard Pilgrim Foundation in making this grant possible to help enrich the lives of people in our community and strengthen the well-being of their families.”

Maine Water is a regulated public water utility that is committed to providing high quality water and world-class service to families and communities while being good stewards of the environment. They service 32,000 customers in Maine

Thanks to this funding support from Harvard Pilgrim Foundation and Maine Water, YCCAC and Nasson Health Care will also be able to offer families monthly educational sessions to learn about healthy eating, cooking classes, tours of the store or farm, and more.

“Harvard Pilgrim is very proud to partner with Maine Water in providing this grant to York County Community Action Corp. to help families eat better,” said Ed Kane, Vice President of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Maine.  “Eating healthy food and staying active can enhance the quality of life for people of all ages. We are thrilled to see that our small investments in very local organizations can measurably improve access to healthy food.”