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Community Food Programs
Groundwork Lawrence is committed to increasing access to high-quality fresh produce in Lawrence, enabling residents to make healthy food choices for themselves and their families. Groundwork’s community food programs combine fresh food access with education in an effort to reduce the city’s disproportionately high rates of diet-related disease.
The Lawrence Farmers Markets/ Mercado de Granjeros are held from July through October, every Wednesday on Appleton Way in Lawrence’s downtown Essex Street business district and Saturday at the Greater Lawrence Family's Health Center Park Street site. The markets feature a wide variety of local produce, as well as baked goods, honey and fresh eggs. Since assuming management of the downtown market in 2006, Groundwork Lawrence has sought to increase access to the market for all shoppers by accepting EBT (food stamps) and credit and debit cards and working to increase the redemption of WIC and Senior Farmers Market coupons. Today, the market provides a lively gathering place for the whole community with free attractions such as live entertainment, family activities and cultural and educational exhibits.
Groundwork Lawrence supports the operation of a CSA Program, or Community Supported Agriculture Program, at 60 Island Street in partnership with Farmer Dave’s, a progressive, sustainable farm in nearby Dracut, MA. Members invest in Farmer Dave's at the beginning of the season, and in return receive a "share" of the harvest through weekly boxes of fresh, local produce. The CSA provides a convenient solution for people who love the taste of farm-fresh produce, but lack the time to shop, or wherewithal to grow it. Farmer Dave's offers a pre-boxed share or a choose-you-own option. Visit Farmer Dave's website for more information and to register.
The Groundwork Lawrence CSA offers a Share-a-Share™ program, funded by donations and grants, to subsidize the price of fresh food for residents in need, including subsidized CSA shares, gift card and SNAP/WIC incentive programs at our Farmers Markets, and fresh food donations to local food pantries. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation.
Groundwork Lawrence operates a growing network of community gardens, providing another source of fresh food to Lawrence residents, while transforming formerly vacant and often contaminated open space into attractive and productive community gathering spots. Gardens located at Union/Mechanic Streets, Spruce & Myrtle Streets, Giuffrida Place, Cross and Cedar Streets, and Scarito, Manchester Street and Cronin parks are cultivated and maintained by local resident gardeners and youth. In 2010 we were fortunate enough to be able to plant the City's first Fruit Orchard at the Bodwell site.
Groundwork Lawrence aims to cultivate healthy habits at a young age with schoolyard garden programming that promotes healthy eating, fitness and environmental awareness. In collaboration with administrators, faculty, and after-school programming at local elementary and middle schools, Groundwork is creating a “seed-to-harvest” schoolyard garden curriculum that takes place during school days within the growing season. It currently operates schoolyard garden programs at the Leonard and Tarbox schools.
In partnership with Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Groundwork Lawrence runs a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program™ (FVRx). The program allows physicians at the Health Center to hand out scripts that their patients can then fill, free of charge, for fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets.atients who are at risk of/have a diet-related disease, or suffer from malnutrition, can take part in the Veggie Prescription Program through the Health Center, one of three MA clinics awarded with Veggie Prescription Program funds from Wholesome Wave, CAVU, and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.