Growing a Community Around Healthy Food and Economic Empowerment

From foodtank.com, by Clare Algozin
Growing a Community Around Healthy Food and Economic Empowerment

Billings Forge Community Works (BFCW) drives both community participation and empowerment in Frog Hollow, Connecticut, by promoting access to healthy food, engaging youth, and developing employment opportunities and economically sustainable social enterprises. Their many programs focus on addressing issues like homelessness and unemployment, as well as working to strengthen family health, and to promote a climate that values diversity, independence, and creativity.

Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Cary Wheaton, Executive Director of Billings Forge Community Works.

Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?

Cary Wheaton (CW): We help people with limited income to access fresh, healthy food.

FT: What is a project, program, or result you are most proud of? Please explain.

CW: Our year-round farmers market doubles food stamps, draws a fascinating mix of residents and corporate employees, and benefits from a corporate shuttle that collects Fortune 500 neighbors and seniors.

FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?

CW: We will grow our resident-driven programming, including the farmers market and youth culinary training.

FT: In one sentence, what is the most important thing eaters and consumers can do today to support a more sustainable food system?

CW: Support your local farmers.

FT: How can individuals become more involved in your organization?

CW: We encourage people to patronize our social enterprises, donate what they can, and volunteer.  We have volunteer opportunities at our farmers market, youth and community based programs, administration, and fundraising events.

Download the 2014 Good Food Org Guide HERE.

Submit your suggestions for the 2015 guide HERE.