Just Roots listens to the community, builds strong partnerships across diverse sectors and develops programming that is both accessible and comprehensive. These efforts demonstrate our ability to have meaningful and far-reaching impact on our community; a community that we care deeply about. Food is a universal need and as a result offers a bridge to bring people together, individually and collectively. Just Roots works hard to build organizational sustainability for the sake of our community, our citizens and our small, local farms.
Mission accomplished are two words every nonprofit wishes to declare and yet, like so many others who have come before us, we have much work ahead. Celebrating one’s victories is important. We do not achieve our goals alone; we realize them through our collective efforts. In a relatively short period of time, Just Roots has achieved much and attained many of its initial goals, goals that were informed by members of our community. We celebrate our shared success together. A couple of our highlighted achievements can be found below.
In 2017 – Just Roots:
- Fully enrolled our two-year randomized, controlled research study, funded by the USDA (this was one of only 2 such FMPP grants awarded in the state of MA; and only 11 in the country) to prove the health benefits of CSA participation and influence an insurer funded wellness benefit for participation with the data collected;
- For the second year running, established the largest SNAP enrolled CSA in the state of MA;
- Grew our CSA farm share program by 50% and still remain committed to serving more than 60% of that total membership through our supported share program, serving low income residents;
- Was awarded one of seven Innovation Planning grants by CFWM to work with our low income housing partners to understand and address barriers to local food access by our most vulnerable citizens;
- Produced a thriving Community Garden with representation from wellness agencies including the Recover Project, The People’s Medicine Project and CHD – Outpatient Behavioral Health Services, as well as 60+ additional families, organizations and individuals;
- Developed a community farm bountifully rich with organically grown produce under new farm manager, Meryl LaTronica’s leadership;
- Returned to the Greenfield’s Farmers Market on Saturdays and continued to be a prominent vendor at the mid-week market on Tuesdays
- Surpassed our goal of raising $20,000 on Valley Gives Day
Our strategy is clear and our focus is sharp. Our approach is resulting in building healthier people and will lead to building healthier farms. Below you will find additional information on our impact.
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They start at the tasting station where they sample a fruit or vegetable. Next the kids move on to the research station where they rate their selection “like it”, “don’t like it”. Finally, they progress to the snack station where they select a healthy local snack to take back to their classroom and enjoy. This program has been very well-received by kids and teachers alike and currently runs at Four Corners Elementary School in Greenfield. If you are interested in bringing the Snack program to your school please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students from elementary schools in Greenfield — the Center School and the Discovery School at Four Corners — say an end-of-season “thank you” to Just Roots for visits to the Greenfield Community Farm and for the in-school snack market.