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Donor Spotlight on The Merck Company Foundation

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America’s Grow-a-Row is grateful to The Merck Company Foundation for its support of the Newark-Area Hunger Relief and Healthy Eating Program. The Merck Foundation—a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation established in 1957—is funded entirely by the company and is Merck’s chief source of funding support for qualified nonprofit charitable organizations.  Since its inception, the Merck Foundation has contributed more than $740 million to support initiatives that address important societal needs in a manner consistent with Merck’s overall mission to help the world be well. The Foundation supports organizations and innovative programs that are aligned with three focus areas: health, education and community. They also share the outcomes, lessons learned and best practices from the initiatives to contribute knowledge and help advance progress in these areas.

The Newark-Area Hunger Relief and Healthy Eating Program, which serves an area representing one of the nation’s worst food deserts, features three mutually-reinforcing components:  the delivery of fresh, healthy produce to Newark and Jersey City through our Free Farm Market℠program; the hosting of youth from these communities at AGAR’s farm in Pittstown, NJ, on multiple days, which provides them with the opportunity to harvest crops and learn about the importance of agriculture and healthy eating; and off-season education offerings in Newark and Jersey City schools, which serve to reinforce the students’ knowledge of fresh produce and healthy eating. The Merck Company Foundation’s support has enabled AGAR to address one of the most pressing needs facing two of New Jersey’s largest cities: the relative scarcity of supermarkets and grocery stores that carry affordable, fresh, nutritious produce and the resulting negative effects of this scarcity on the health and well-being of Newark-area residents, particularly its youngest citizens.  We thank The Merck Company Foundation for their generous support of our program.