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 St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children Receives Grants to Strengthen and Expand its Farm to Families Initiative

 PHILADELPHIA (January 2011) – St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children, a grantmaking public charity focused on improving the health and well-being of children in the North Philadelphia community surrounding St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, has recently received two significant grants to support its Farm to Families initiative.

On December 3, 2010, Farm to Families was selected to receive the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Innovative Partnerships Prize, which includes a cash grant of $15,000 and consulting services.  Farm to Families was one of three collaborative projects selected out of a pool of thirty; a panel of three leading social innovation experts gave the project the nod at the United Way Strategic Partnerships Conference.  The Innovation Partnerships Prize grant will be used to implement sustainability strategies for Farm to Families’ food box program, which delivers affordable boxes of fresh, local produce, eggs, dairy, and meat to families to within blocks of their North Philadelphia homes.

On December 14, 2010, the William Penn Foundation informed St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children that it had approved a grant totaling $82,500 for Farm to Families.  Funding is earmarked for sustainability strategies for the food box program, designation of a Farm to Families food buyer, expansion to up to three additional food box distribution sites in North Philadelphia, and refinement of existing payment systems.

Jan Shaeffer, St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children’s Executive Director, said that all of the work supported by the two grants will be instrumental in increasing long-term sustainability and strengthening the collaboration and governance of Farm to Families.  “Over the past six months, Farm to Families has been in a pilot phase, and we’ve been continuously assessing what’s working and what we can improve,” said Shaeffer.  “More than 400 families have purchased affordable, fresh, local food, and that’s evidence to us that we’re meeting a great need in North Philadelphia.  We’re thrilled that the panelists at the Strategic Partnerships Conference and the William Penn Foundation recognize the impact we’re making and want to help us increase that impact.  We’re grateful for their support.”

 About St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children

The mission of St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children’s is to support the health and well-being of children in the community served by St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children through programs in the area of care, outreach, research, and education.  St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children leverages support from institutions and individuals who are committed to improving health outcomes for children in North Philadelphia and makes grants to address the greatest health challenges for those young people.

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