Massaro Community Farm Fund
Massaro Community Farm has become a gathering place where members of the Valley and Greater New Haven communities can learn about more than the Massaro family's history of dairy farming and find a wide variety of locally grown produce. The farm has a mission to keep farming, feed people, and build community for generations to come.
These core principles shape the farm's operations, workshops, events, and educational programming that take place on its 57 acres to promote the importance of connecting to locally-sourced food. The farm itself and the programs it provides has become an anchor in the community where families can create their own chapters in the farm's long history. Located on the AnsoniaWoodbridge town line, the farm supports both Greater New Haven and Valley communities with a vegetable subscription program, on-farm and in-school education, and thousands of pounds of produce, which are given to hunger relief each year. The farm's unique geographic location means that its impact is felt throughout and beyond VCF's sphere of influence.
"We are literally on the border of Woodbridge and Ansonia, so we get a lot of visitors from both Greater New Haven and the Valley," said Executive Director Caty Poole. "The farm also provides fresh produce to food banks in both the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (TCF) and VCF's service areas. We work with both VCF and TCF to help meet the needs of residents who have limited healthy food choices."
The Massaro Community Farm Fund was first established as an organization fund with the Valley Community Foundation in 2017, which is a way in which nonprofits can entrust assets to VCF for investment purposes only. Since then Caty has seen new opportunities bloom for the former family dairy- turnedcommunity farm. The farm's board created the Massaro Farm Legacy Fund, an endowed fund at VCF, in 2018. One of Massaro's board members additionally established the Get Outdoors and Enjoy Nature Fund, which is a designated fund for the farm at TCF that will continue to support the farm in perpetuity. This board member has also encouraged others to donate to this fund to increase support for Massaro far into the future.
"As farming people, we think of growing, even when talking about our donor base and cultivating supporters," Caty said. "We've used a portion of the funds to redesign our website and direct prospects to the Valley Gives Back®, the Valley's communitywide planned giving initiative, in support of bequests for the farm. We were also able to expand our outreach with more mailings throughout the year and personalized efforts such as sending handwritten thank you cards." She added that VCF is a valuable a resource center, offering guidance and direction to organizations such as the Massaro Community Farm, which has a limited number of staff and volunteers to tackle a great deal of work.
"VCF has provided a way for everyone to contribute, whether it's with their own fund or by adding to an existing fund. That is just one way that our board, staff, volunteers, and especially our visitors can express their passion for preserving the farm that has come to mean so much to us all."