Montclair Community Farms was formed in 2011 by Home Corps, United Way and the Montclair Health Department of Health and Human Services as a program to offer youth the opportunity to grow and sell vegetables and to increase access to affordable fresh produce in local neighborhoods.
The project expanded in 2012 to include Montclair State University (MSU) and Essex 4-H (4-H), adding greater educational and service learning components to the project. In the fall of 2012, Montclair History Center (MHC) and the Rutgers Master Gardeners joined the coalition increasing the food production and farming capacity.
In 2013, this partnership of organizations formed the Montclair Community Farms Coalition (MCFC) to serve as the advisory of the Montclair Community Farms project. Since then MCF expanded efforts to provide healthy foods to the senior residents in Montclair through the introduction of our mobile farm stand project in 2016. During this time, MCF provided over 4000 lbs of fresh produce to our senior population and underserved community residents.
In 2016, our coalition expanded to include the District Initiative for Gardening in Schools (DIGS) and the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee (SCAC) allowing for increased food production, greater family involvement and a senior voice to the project planning.
Since 2011, MCF has grown over 3,300 lbs. of organic produce that has been sold to seniors at affordable prices or donated to the community. In 2018, MCF reached over 120 seniors (up to 50 seniors every week), had over 3,400 youth and adult engagements accounting (over 10,000 hours) through Farm Camp, Master Gardeners, 4H Urban Youth Farmers, Chicken Club, Farm Club, Plant It Forward and other school, volunteer and service learning opportunities. MCF produced 2,500 eggs and 16 jars of honey.