COMMUNITY FARMS OUTREACH

Local Food For Everyone

aka Waltham Fields Community Farm   |   Waltham, MA   |  http://www.communityfarms.org

Mission

The mission of Community Farms Outreach, d/b/a Waltham Fields Community Farm, is to promote local agriculture and food access through our farming operation and educational programs, and to help people connect with their food supply in healthful and meaningful ways. We use practices that are socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable, and encourage healthy relationships between people, their food supply, and the land from which it grows.

Ruling year info

1996

Executive Director

Ms. Stacey Daley

Main address

240 Beaver St.

Waltham, MA 02452 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3261186

NTEE code info

Nutrition Programs (K40)

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

For the lowest 20% of earners in Massachusetts, wages have been stagnant for decades, and workers receive reduced income in real terms compared to 1979 (massbudget.org). Poor households face real "heat or eat" decisions in spending scarce dollars. Because of this, one in eight children in Massachusetts today lives with food insecurity (being without reliable access to sufficient nutritious food). Low wage workers struggle to put food on the table. When they buy food, they are more likely to choose least expensive, poorer quality choices to economize. Eating poor quality foods is fueling the obesity/diabetes epidemic amongst children nationwide. Mass. Dept. Public Health in 2015 reports that 44% of Waltham 4th-graders screened are classified as overweight or obese, yet the more affluent neighboring towns have rates half this amount. These children are at higher risk for health issues once considered “adult” diseases, such as high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Hunger Relief and Food Access

We provide our own fresh vegetables to low-income community members in need through our Mobile Outreach Market, donations to emergency feeding and nutrition education programs, distributions to the Waltham Public Schools, half-price CSA shares, and our Produce Prescription Program. Our annual goal is that a minimum of 20% in value of all the produce we grow is distributed to low-income households. Typically this amounts to over 20 tons of fresh vegetables annually to thousands of local families struggling to make ends meet. All of our crops are grown adhering to strict organic production methods.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

We offer an array of educational programs in our Learning Garden for toddler through teen on food production, environmental science, and nutrition education; workshops for adults; volunteer and service learning opportunities; and a Farmer Training program. Our Education Programs offer a variety of experiential, project-based adventures for learners of all ages. Youth explore agriculture, gardening, natural, culinary arts, sustainable homesteading, foraging, and science-based programs through hands-on activities. Age-appropriate curricula is delivered by professionals in their field, staff educators, and guest instructors.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Waltham Fields Community Farm is a successful model of community farm management. Leasing seven acres on what is commonly known as the UMass Field Station in Waltham, and three acres at the nearby Lyman Estate, we operate a vegetable, flower, and herb farm using organic principles.
Consistent with our mission, Waltham Fields Community Farm has integrated charitable and educational programs within the community farm model. The development of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program lends yet another dimension to the project, enhancing the economic viability of the farm while providing shareholders opportunities to participate in our charitable, educational and land preservation projects. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement, one that strengthens community bonds as shareholders become members invested in the mission.

Population(s) Served
Families
Farmers

Volunteer Service -
Volunteers contribute to Waltham Fields Community Farm through hands-on farm field work, education program assistance, event help, and general office support.

Non-Field Volunteering
There are times throughout the year when we look for volunteers to help us with specific office tasks, event coordination, or special projects.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROUPS
We are pleased to engage corporate and community groups in farm work April through October.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We want to keep our community nourished with healthy, local food, regardless of household income level.
We want to provide education about food, farming, and the local environment, so that people at every age can make informed decisions about their own health and the health of their community.

Our tagline is “local food for everyone.” To us, this means making our food and programs accessible to the whole Greater Boston and MetroWest community, regardless of income. We welcome you to join us in this vision!

Our core programs include:
Food Access/Hunger Relief/Nutrition
We provide fresh vegetables to low-income community members in need through a weekly low-income market, donations to emergency feeding and nutrition education programs, farm-to-school distributions, and half-price CSA shares. We distribute at least $80,000 worth, many tons of fresh organic vegetables, through these channels. Our seasonal Mobile Outreach Market in Waltham offers a minimum 5-to-1 value for $5 in SNAP benefits or cash, or for free with a voucher we distribute to over a dozen local partnering social service organizations.

Education
Over 1,200 youth from toddler through teen attend our education programs on food production, environmental science, and nutrition education. We also offer workshops for adults and a Farmer Training program. Our teen Youth Crew program offers a stipend or minimum wage for an immersive work/education experience in local food and nutrition. In addition, over 750 volunteers will help with the farm work each year, coming to our drop-in or Crop Mob days, or participating with a corporate, faith-based, or university group.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm Shares
Our summer share program includes a wide variety of organically grown vegetables distributed over 20 weeks from June through October, with shares paid for in advance; we also offer a limited number of extended season shares. Our CSA program enhances the economic vitality of the farm, and provides shareholders with opportunities to be in close connection with the land and the people that grow their food. We also offer subsidized half-price shares for low-income families, and will offer a Produce Prescription Rx share for the first time this year, in coordination with a local health care center. These shares are offered for free to medically vulnerable low-income families for whom we hope having a steady supply of fresh vegetables will improve health outcomes.

Twenty-five years ago, Waltham Fields was a group of part-time volunteers growing about 10,000 pounds of food on four acres of neglected farm fields to donate to local soup kitchens and food pantries. Today we are a highly productive, mission-driven educational farming organization producing over 160,000 pounds of food annually on fifteen acres, feeding thousands of families in innovative ways to accommodate all income levels, offering educational programming to all ages toddler through adult, and leading by example to build a strong regional food economy that does not leave anyone out due to income limitations. We have strong relationships at many levels in our community:
We collaborate with 20 local social service agencies and subsidized public housing to distribute vouchers for our weekly low-income Mobile Outreach Market.
We work with the Waltham Recreation Department to promote and register educational programs.
We supply the Waltham Public School Food Service Department with five months of vegetables at a subsidized rate. They promote the farm-to-table link in their educational signage and enthusiastic support.
We are the fiscal agency for the weekly seasonal Waltham Farmers’ Market, at their request.
Dozens of local corporations send employees to volunteer in our farm fields. We were the first to receive an Outstanding Community Partnership award from Boston Cares, a large metro-Boston volunteer placement program.
The Mayor of Waltham and the City Council are supportive of our programs; the Mayor consistently participates in our community events.

A few benchmarks:
In 1997 we started a new endeavor unfamiliar to the area - our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm share program. By 2004 we were offering 150 shares and began a wait list; fast-forward to this year with over six hundred households participating.
Our educational offerings have grown from the first Learning Garden program for a few dozen low-income urban day campers in 1999, to today serving over 1,200 youth with a variety of multi-day summer and after-school program offerings, some in collaboration with the Waltham Recreation Department.
Addressing community needs, we developed our low-income Outreach Market to provide quality fresh produce to the working poor and have seen this program grow in eight years from distributing 400 bags to a thousand bags per season of our fresh vegetables. Customers pay five dollars with food stamps or cash, or receive vegetables for free with vouchers we distribute to participating social service partners – addressing a gap in fresh food access for
Agricultural staff working at Waltham Fields have gained skills and confidence to go on to start their own organic farms (Heirloom Harvest Community Farm and CSA in Westborough, Brix Bounty Farm in Dartmouth, Powisset Farm in Dover, Lexington Farm and Northampton’s Crimson & Clover are just some examples of MA-based organic farms started by former Waltham Fields staff, with several more throughout New England) – not to mention others going on to strengthen and expand pre-existing CSA, community or non-profit farming projects elsewhere.

Financials

COMMUNITY FARMS OUTREACH
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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COMMUNITY FARMS OUTREACH

Board of directors
as of 04/27/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Colleen McKiernan

Chris Yoder

Van Guarden Farm

Reva Haselkorn

Healthy Waltham

Colleen McKiernan

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

John Tracy

Athenahealth

Suzanne Cassidy

Boston Medical Center

Laura Handler

Sovos Compliance

Robin Doherty

Doherty Real Estate

Rachel Flaksman

US Army

Becky Evans Mark

Lisa Schulze

Alkermes

Charlotte Svirsky

Indigo Agriculture

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/30/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data