News

May 11, 2016

First Choice Community Healthcare Wins $20,000 PNM Fund Grant


For Greenhouses at South Valley Community Farm

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, The PNM Fund awarded a $20,000 grant to First Choice Community Healthcare for two greenhouses and raised beds at its South Valley Community Farm. The farm is part of a larger community development project aimed at creating a wellness ecosystem in the South Valley of Albuquerque.

PNM recognized the 29 winners of this year's Power Up Grant Awards at an awards ceremony this week. The grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 to nonprofits throughout New Mexico that are building projects that promote vibrant communities.

“This grant will allow us to tap into the wealth of knowledge and expertise in organic farming in the South Valley to start growing vegetables for our patients and their families, making it easier for our patients to benefit from the health generating foods being grown in their own neighborhood,” said Dr. Will Kaufman, Director of Community Health and Wellness at First Choice Community Healthcare. “Having an onsite community farm will greatly increase access to and consumption of fresh, local and healing produce.”

The South Valley Farm will be located on private property adjacent to the existing South Valley Health Commons, a hub of education, housing, health and social services on county-owned land. The South Valley Commons will double in size and provide space for the four-acre farm, a food hub, a farm-to-table-style restaurant, an early childhood development center, a wellness center, a workforce training center as well as a permanent campus for Health Leadership High School, an existing charter school.

These projects were selected with the goal of investing in those enterprises that have the best hope of mitigating socio-economic indicators as well as to be financially sustainable through co-location and cooperation, thereby generating a sustainable wellness ecosystem. The community farm component of this larger development is the focus of this grant award.

First Choice Community Healthcare (FCCH) is a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC) system with eight health centers in three counties, and one school-based health center at Rio Grande High School. FCCH has been providing primary medical, dental, behavioral health care and WIC services for 44 years to New Mexico. FCCH plays an integral role in providing access to all people regardless of income or insurance status and believes in developing communities that promote and engage people in healthy lifestyles. To learn more about First Choice Community Healthcare, visit www.fcch.com.

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