Founded in 2018, Farm & Community Collaborative, Inc. (“F&CC”) is a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit organization that alleviates food insecurity by improving access to local farm fresh produce for underserved populations within Southeastern, MA, particularly its USDA designated food desert communities, such as the Gateway cities of Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton.
Farm to Family was launched in 2021 in response to Covid19 and the rising demand for emergency food services. In its debut year, Farm to Family provided Farm Shares to 135 families, who were living below 80% AMI. In 2022, the program received a $150,000 grant from the Southcoast Community Foundation and increased its clientele two-fold, serving 285 families. In 2023, Farm to Family served 77 individuals, who were living below 50% AMI. Reduced service numbers in 2023 reflect fundraising challenges, and are not indicative of a reduced need for the program. 100% of Farm to Family clients experienced increased food security, healthy food consumption and improved nutrition. F&CC measures the effectiveness of its programs by tracking its clients through pre- and post- interviews, surveys as well as documenting successes and testimonials. The program will track and evaluate outcomes for Farm Share recipients, including, but not limited to: 1) increased food security; 2) increased healthy food consumption; and 3) improved nutrition.
F&CC primarily serves food insecure populations within Southeastern, MA, particularly its USDA designated "food desert" communities, such as the Gateway cities of Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton.
Massachusetts Gateway cities, as defined by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, are "midsize urban centers that anchor regional economies around the state, [facing] stubborn social and economic challenges, [while] retaining many assets with unrealized potential."
F&CC utilizes multisector collaboration to promote its programming, amplify its impact and strengthen the food system as a whole. F&CC works in cooperation with local farms, municipalities, housing authorities, community-based organizations and advocacy groups to promote its programs to food insecure populations in a fair and equitable way. F&CC plans to expand its partnerships year over year to promote food availability. Collaboration is at the forefront in achieving F&CC's vision to end hunger.
Board of Directors
It is important that our leadership, staff and volunteers represent the population we serve. We believe that our clients understand best the challenges their families and communities face, which is why they should be at the forefront of developing and implementing solutions. F&CC’s highly engaged board of directors all maintain agricultural backgrounds, while also contributing their respective expertise in the fields of nursing, equine and farm insurance, education, and nonprofit management.
F&CC’s founder and director, Ms. Deanna Elliot, is a social entrepreneur, educator and farmer. Ms. Elliot earned a B.A. in Communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership from Wheelock College. She co-owns Elliot Farm, her family’s 64-acre produce farm, and witnessed firsthand the impact farm fresh produce has on the health and wellness of low-income clientele. In 2018, Ms. Elliot founded F&CC to combine her passions for sustainable agriculture and nonprofit leadership. She aspires to use her connections within the farming community to alleviate food insecurity across the region.
F&CC’s frontline workers are its Farm to Future employees. Farm to Future's positions highlights the interconnectivity of food, health, community, and the environment, promoting a comprehensive understanding of the local food system that is transformative. During their tenure, employees help improve the health and wellness of their neighbors, and the leadership and workforce skills they gain can translate to any career path that they may choose to follow.