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The wide selection of produce available

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Growing Community

Building Relationships Around Food in Northampton Public Housing Neighborhoods

Grow Food Northampton’s (GFN) colorful van zig-zags around town each week delivering food to 11 subsidized housing neighborhoods in Northampton and Florence, serving up to 300 low-income households with fresh local vegetables, fruits and other farm products like yogurt, eggs, and tortillas.

Along with this free local food distribution, GFN’s Food Access Team works with residents to create a stronger community in these neighborhoods by hosting local food and farming-related events and building relationships.

Through ARPA funds recently provided by the City of Northampton, Grow Food Northampton received a big boost to its community-building work. The funding enabled GFN to create and expand community gardens at low-income housing sites throughout Northampton and Florence. The gardens are already an enormous success. Not only do they produce food, but also spark new friendships, partnerships between neighbors and more time spent outdoors for residents.

Nothing says community and food like sharing recipes. GFN and residents work together to generate recipe cards that feature seasonal family favorites. Folks can grab a recipe card along with their weekly produce and be inspired to try something new. At a recent food distribution at Meadowbrook Apartments, a resident who was first in line for his produce pickup went right back inside to his apartment, whipped up a salsa verde and brought it back outside to share with the crowd.

GFN is a nonprofit organization with the mission to create a just and resilient local food system that nourishes our community and protects and enriches the earth. Learn more at

Sofrito is a traditional base for soups, stews and other dishes in Spanish and Latin
American culture. This recipe was developed by Grow Food Northampton based on input
from program participants.

1 head garlic, peeled
2 medium onions, peeled
1 red bell pepper, remove stem and seeds
2 green bell peppers, remove stem and seeds
1 bunch cilantro
½ bunch fresh parsley leaves

1. Chop the ingredients small enough to fit into a food processor or blender.
2. Process or blend ingredients in batches.
3. Blend all ingredients so the finished sofrito is the consistency of pesto or a thick paste.


  1. If the sofrito needs liquid, you may add water or olive oil, a tablespoon at a time while blending.
  2. You can refrigerate for up to two weeks or you can put some sofrito in ice trays to freeze, then store in a freezer bag for up to a year.
  3. Sofrito is best stored in a glass container in the refrigerator.

11 neighborhoods
300 households each week
Produce and other farm products purchased from 28 local farms
Cooking classes
In-ground gardens at six sites

Container/porch gardening at 3 sites
Actively working with over 150 community gardeners at public housing
Shared meals
Holiday Celebrations

  • GFN free mobile farmers market
  • Community gardens at Salvo House
  • The wide selection of produce available
  • GFN free mobile market team