Fresh Connect expands with new Warminster location

Fresh Connect Warminster will open on June 12 at Warminster Community Park thanks to a grant from the Leo and Peggy Pierce Family Foundation

The Times

Source: Bucks County Opportunity Council

The Fresh Connect consortium, a group of organizations collaborating to combat hunger in Bucks County with fresh produce, is announcing the opening of a third, free, farmers market location in Bucks County. Fresh Connect Warminster will open on June 12 at Warminster Community Park. A grant from the Leo and Peggy Pierce Family Foundation was instrumental in the expansion of the program to Warminster.

Fresh Connect provides healthy produce to low-income families in Bucks County who otherwise could not afford to buy it. Participants receive 20 pounds of food per week, typically featuring six to eight varieties of produce. Two Fresh Connect markets were opened in 2017 and proved to be a vital resource for more than 250 households on a weekly basis. This success encouraged the partners to open a third site, in the central part of the country, accessible to residents of that region.

Fresh Connect was founded by a consortium of organizations working together, including Bucks County Opportunity Council, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, Philabundance, St. Mary Medical Center, and United Way of Bucks County, with the vision of increasing residents’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables and improving their diet and nutrition. Other supporters include Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Key Bank.

An evaluation indicates that regular participants have increased their intake of fruits and vegetables by 2.4 servings per day and they report trying new recipes, cooking healthier, and cooking at home more often.

The Peggy and Leo Pierce Family Foundation supports many hunger relief projects in Philadelphia and its suburbs. The grant of $15,000 to Fresh Connect was received in April and made it possible for the program to expand to this third site.

Marissa Christie, president and CEO of United Way of Bucks County, said, “We’re very pleased to be able to expand Fresh Connect to a third site so we can serve even more families in need. Fresh Connect is doing more than just putting food on the table. It’s providing fresh, healthy, nourishing choices. It’s improving people’s health and helping them prevent illness through improved nutrition.”

Karen Whitney of the Warminster Township Parks and Recreation Department is glad that Fresh Connect is coming to one of their parks.

“We at Warminster Township are excited to be partnering with Fresh Connect to bring fresh produce to members of this community who may not otherwise have access to it,” she said. “By using Warminster Community Park as a pick-up location, Fresh Connect participants and their families will also be able to enjoy all that our beautiful 240-acre park has to offer.

Fresh Connect Warminster is located at Warminster Community Park, 300 Veterans Way. The market will operate each Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon. Interested residents should bring their own shopping bags and be prepared to register at their visit. Residents must declare that their income is 200% of the federal poverty or less. The program will begin on Tuesday, June 12 at noon.