L+M Hospital makes $50,000 community investment to FRESH New London

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
NEW LONDON, CT – March 6, 2018 – Lawrence + Memorial Hospital today provided a $50,000 grant to FRESH New London to assist in building a five-year urban agricultural master plan that includes the creation of an urban greenhouse in New London.

“We are absolutely committed to improving the health and wellness in our community,” said Patrick L. Green, president and CEO of L+M Hospital, who made the announcement today at the FRESH Urban Farm and Education Center in the city. “Our most recent community needs assessment revealed that for those area residents earning less than $30,000 per year, that at least 25% reported not having enough money to buy food in the prior year. We know there is a strong correlation between food insecurity and obesity and an urgent need to increase access to healthy foods.”

Alicia McAvay, executive director of FRESH New London, received the gift from Green. “This grant from L+M will be instrumental in our ability to work with New London residents to build a community food system that improves access to healthy foods and works for all New London residents,” she said.

FRESH builds momentum for food system change through community based agriculture and youth empowerment, McAvay said. The FRESH Farm to School Campaign, which began in 2013, brings more local foods into area public schools, and every New London public school has its own edible garden. In addition, she added, FRESH reclaims urban spaces as farms and gardens, testing soil, building raised beds and growing food in the city that offsets the community’s basic needs.

This is the second such $50,000 investment the hospital has made since its affiliation with Yale New Haven Health was finalized in September 2016. The hospital provided a grant to the City of New London in June 2017 to fund improvements to local neighborhoods and have a positive impact on social determinants of health.

In 2016, the hospital provided more than $38 million in community benefits coming in the form of guaranteed access to care, advancing careers in health care, promoting health and wellness in the community, building stronger neighborhoods and creating a healthier community.

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