Tamworth Community Nurse Assoc. and Tamworth Farmers’ Market receive Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation grant to support healthier diets.
The Tamworth Community Nurse Association, in conjunction with the Tamworth Farmers’ Market, recently applied for and was awarded a $28,175.00 grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation to improve the amount of healthy foods that Tamworth residents eat.
The TCNA is a unique health care entity that has been providing skilled nursing care — with no fee for service — to the people of Tamworth for 94 years. It was founded so that no one in the town would go without healthcare because they couldn’t afford it or didn’t have access to it. Three years ago, in an effort to widen its focus, TCNA launched the “Get Healthy Tamworth” initiative. Walking and weight-loss groups were formed and monthly seminars are now offered on topics ranging from nutrition to skin cancer. Adding a focus on marketing to and educating low- and moderate-income families about fresh, healthy food is a current priority and the grant is a key part of having the resources to increase this effort.
The Tamworth Farmers’ Market began in 2007 and has grown steadily since then. In summer, it is located in a parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Eastern Fellowship in downtown Tamworth. The success of the market was documented in a poll done by WMUR-TV in 2014, naming it the second best farmers’ market in the state. Since its founding, the Tamworth Farmers’ Market has consistently added new services and vendors. In 2007, it only had 15 vendors and was only open through Labor Day. Today, it has 30 vendors, runs four holiday markets, holds winter markets in the Old Town House and has an active Facebook page. This year, it began a new plan to offer a Double Your Dollar program for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) Benefit Program.
TCNA and the Tamworth Farmers’ Market are joining together to support their shared goal of expanding the reach of healthy food in Tamworth. Specifically, the groups hope to make the Double-Your-Dollar SNAP program sustainable through marketing, public relations and education. Other goals include increasing the Farmers’ Market winter customer base by helping underserved groups access healthy, local food through year-round transportation assistance to the market, focused outreach efforts. These may include the services of a dietician for those facing food-related issues such as diabetes and obesity, as well as individual and group educational programs. Several cooking classes will also be held throughout the year. Key target groups for these programs include residents in nearby elderly and low-income housing and parents of school-aged children.
Jo Anne Rainville, RN, Executive Director of TCNA for 14 years, and TFM co-managers Peg Loughran and Bob Streeter of the Farmers Market since its inception, will be the key personnel. They will be assisted by Annie Burke, the current SNAP benefit coordinator, and a designated person to take charge of marketing, public relations and development. Other staff will be added for educational and outreach programs.
None of this would be possible without the support and encouragement of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. HP recently released its 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report entitled Making a Healthy Difference, in which it outlines significant achievements experienced throughout the year. To read this report go to:
The next Tamworth Farmers’ Market will be Saturday, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside at the Town House in Tamworth Village.