2016 PVGrows Forum: Local Food, Healthy Communities

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
12pm – 5pm; Networking event to follow from 5pm – 7pm
Gateway City Arts: 92 Race St, Holyoke, MA 01040

See the Program and Speakers!

Photo Credit: Will Szal for photos from the 2011 PVGrows Fall Forum.The 2016 PVGrows Forum will examine the ways in which health and local food are connected, and specifically how issues of access, affordability and equity in our local food system impact health outcomes for our communities, and disproportionately so for poor communities and communities of color.

Despite the strong local food movement in Western Massachusetts, many in our region struggle to gain access to healthy, affordable fruits and vegetables. Low income families in both urban and rural areas may not have food stores nearby, and those that are accessible may not carry healthy, let alone local and culturally relevant, produce. In Western Massachusetts, the majority of people of color live in urban areas, where the quality and selection of produce is poorest, making fresh and healthy local food a racial and economic equity issue. At the 2016 Spring Forum, we will deepen the dialogue and working relationships between the healthcare sector and the local food movement, identify barriers to healthy local food, and highlight work that is already increasing the availability of locally grown food for individuals and institutions.

IMG956509PVGrows Forums are annual events for those interested in the food system of the Pioneer Valley to gather and explore a topic together for the day. Often attended by 100-130 people, the Forums are intended as opportunities for networking, re-energizing busy people and stimulating new ideas.

Join us at the 2016 PVGrows Forum to explore how health outcomes can be improved by linking local agriculture and under-served communities.


Community and individual health includes our physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. All of these dimensions are intrinsically connected to food and food systems. For example, engaging with community members at farmers’ markets promotes our social connectedness. Learning to prepare our own food contributes to our mental development and enhances our resiliency. Growing food helps develop our physical and spiritual awareness as we connect to larger natural systems. Whole communities need whole people and community food systems that increase access to healthy food while also cultivating broader dimensions of health.

Whole Measures for Community Food Systems

Read more here about the PVGrows Forum.

Video from previous PVGrows Forums are available on the PVGrows YouTube Channel.

The 2016 PVGrows Forum is seeking sponsors and volunteers to make this year’s forum a success. For more information, please contact info@pvgrows.net

Thanks to our sponsors


Big Y - 80 Years


Cooley Dickinson Health Care
Greenfield Community College


Franklin County CDC-web
Holyoke Community College
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
SPIFFY Coalition, Collaborative for Educational Services
UMass Sustainable Food and Farming Program
SSA Logo -- blue on white with UMASS


Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment – UMass Amherst
Common Capital
Cooperative Fund of New England
Fair Food Network
Franklin Community Cooperative
Franklin Land Trust
Grow Food Northampton
Land for Good
Mass in Motion
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
Real Pickles
River Valley Coop

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