The image above shows freshly harvested okra that was distributed to low-income Worcester residents as part of the Farm-to-Health Center Initiative at the Family Health Center of Worcester (FHCW). Frank Mangan who heads the World Crops program at the UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture and a team of researchers planted more than 20,000 seedlings such as cubanelle and ají dulce peppers at the campus greenhouse. The crops were then distributed to cooperating farms who provided culturally-appropriate crops used by immigrants from Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Caribbean Islands with the aim to help increase the fruit and vegetable consumption of low-income groups and eventually have an impact on reducing high rates of obesity and diabetes. Collaborators include the UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program, Department of Nutrition (School of Public Health and Health Sciences), and community organizations. Learn more.
Image credit: John Solem