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Health Initiative Brings Free Produce to NECC

Submitted by on September 12, 2017 – 7:12 pm

Faculty, staff, and students including Courtney Spera of North Billerica, Steven Surprise of Billerica, Travis Barrett of Haverhill, and Cleo Brigham of Boston, participated in the NECC mobile farmers market last April. Another free farmers market will be held Sept. 26.

Last April’s free farmer’s market, held on both the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses, was so successful, the Greater Boston Food Bank has committed to 13 additional dates between now and September 2018.

Between the two campuses nearly 8,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables was delivered to close to 300 households during the April market. Because of this new wellness initiative, NECC faculty, staff, and students had the opportunity to select up to 25 pounds of fresh produce per family.

The free farmers market will be held every fourth Tuesday. The next market will be Tuesday, September 26, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. While the main distribution is at the Sport & Fitness Center on the Haverhill campus, 100 Elliott St., there is an accompanying mini market on the Lawrence campus behind the El-Hefni Center 414 Common St.

The farmer’s market is open to the NECC community said Karen Hruska, director of counseling services at NECC, who coordinates this initiative.

“This market is not about food insecurity it is about eating foods that are healthy and make us feel and perform better, Hruska said.”

The Farmers Market is open to everyone on campus no matter what your role, household size, or income level – everyone qualifies.

The April market was so successful, that two NECC orientation leaders Carla Gonzalez and Alba Diaz, were interviewed and featured in the Greater Boston Food Bank Fall newsletter.

Participants are asked to  preregister to shop or volunteer the week before the market by visiting the website or visit the Student Engagement Offices at the Sport & Fitness Center D105 (Haverhill) or El-Hefni LC 137.

Please bring reusable grocery bags, baskets, or a cart to carry the produce.

For more information about this event or if you need special accommodations for shopping or someone to shop for you, please contact Karen Hruska at NECC’s Counseling & Psychological Services at 978-556-3730 or email

The next dates for 2017 are:

September 26, October 24, November 28, and December 12.