Common Ground is …

Planting Seeds

Impact Now
  • 10,000+ pounds of fresh, local produce grow in our gardens

  • Common Ground shared its harvest with approximately 2,500 low-income community members—through universal free lunch, New Haven’s mobile market, on-site farm stands, farmer’s markets, and a farm share program for families of our high school students.

  • Last year, this harvest grew 93 paid youth jobs growing food, building gardens, operating farm markets, and educating children about the sources of their food; 4 youth business ventures; and 10 different Common Ground courses, engaging 186 students in substantive, ongoing, authentic work related to urban agriculture and community food justice.

Growing Leaders

Impact Now
  • 15,000 community members join in our programs

  • Five years ago, 396 kids joined in Common Ground’s after-school and vacation programs; 18% were children of color. Last year— thanks to free buses, off-site programs, and financial aid—1111 kids joined in these programs, and 35% were children of color

  • Before joining in Kids Unplugged, 41% of participants were adventurous eaters, and 63% of participants chose to play outside on their own time. After Kids Unplugged, an additional 46% of families report that their children are likely to try healthy foods at home, and an additional 30% of families report their kids choose healthy outdoor exercise

Cultivating Community

Impact Now
  • 195 students from 16 towns, chosen through public  school lottery

  • 65% are from New Haven, 70% are young people of  color, and 50% qualify for free or reduced lunch

  • 1 in 3 say they are interested in pursuing a field related to Common Ground’s environmental and social justice mission.

  • In each of the last 5 years, at least 90% of seniors are accepted to college. In our last graduating class, 83% of seniors enrolled in college in the year following graduation.

Next
  • Ensure that every pound of produce is helping to educate, connect people, and build food justice

  • Share the harvest with our neighbors and students — those who need it most

  • Grow our students & community members into the next generation of food justice leaders

  • Fuel efforts to promote food security and urban agriculture across Connecticut

Next
  • Build the quality and impact of these community programs — creating lasting connections to nature and the sources of our food, and cultivating habits of health and sustainability. 

  • Make sure our programs are open to 100% of community members, regardless of income, and engage a genuinely diverse community

  • Cultivate habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practice beyond our our own site — through our school garden resource center, capacity-building opportunities for educators, and strong partnerships with like-minded organizations

Next
  • Grow to 225 students

  • Deepen our commitment to educational equity and social justice education — closing the opportunity and achievement gap

  • Step up as the nation’s greenest high school & a model for urban education that works.

  • Grow a new, more diverse generation of  successful college students and powerful environmental leaders