Nourishing our community and the earth.

aka Grow Food Northampton   |   Florence, MA   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 01-0959428


Grow Food Northampton’s mission is to create a just and resilient local food system that nourishes our community and protects and enriches the earth.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Alisa Klein

Main address

221 Pine St. Suite 349

Florence, MA 01062 USA

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Subject area info

Climate change

Outdoor education


Food security

Environmental and resource rights

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Population served info

Children and youth

Older adults


Ethnic and racial groups

Economically disadvantaged people

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Farmland Preservation (K25)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms



What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Do you remember the empty grocery store shelves at the height of the pandemic? COVID provided crystal clear evidence that our conventional food system is broken. Industrial agriculture dominates while small local farms struggle. Poor and BIPOC communities can’t get healthy affordable food. A system that transports food across the world is not only destroying the environment, it breaks down in a crisis. Nearly 3,000 Northampton residents can’t access the quantity and quality of food that they want. In collaboration with emergency food partners, food insecure residents, and community organizations, we lead programs that provide access to locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables where people live, work, and visit. And beyond transportation and financial barriers, we work to understand and address deeper barriers that prevent people from eating healthy.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden

We own and operate a 330-plot organic Community Garden on our Community Farm. Utilized by over 400 community members, the Community Garden allows gardeners to grow food for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. Garden plots are made available on a sliding feel scale offered as part of our Equitable Access Policy to ensure that all community members have access to land to grow food, particularly those from communities that have been marginalized and harmed by the conventional food system.

Population(s) Served
Family relationships
Age groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Sexual identity
Social and economic status

We offer food system education to learners of all ages, including farm- and school-based gardening, farming, cooking, nutrition, composting, and food system education for kids of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, sexualities, and gender identities. Kids and adults come to Grow Food Northampton's Community Farm to learn about the cultural origins of food, Indigenous foodways, the Indigenous and Abolitionist history of our farmland, how to grow food, and how to participate in the local food system.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

Grow Food Northampton operates several programs that provide food and land access for community members experiencing food insecurity. We also provide land and resources for gardening and farming to low-income individuals, families, and farmers who have historically and traditionally been excluded from land access. Food access programs include: SNAP Matching at our Tuesday Market; subsidies for Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares; Free Mobile Farmers Markets, subsidies for no- or low-cost Community Garden plots; and farm parcels. The Food Access Advisory Committee (FAAC), a leadership body made up of people with lived experience of food insecurity, leads and informs this work.

Population(s) Served

Grow Food Northampton owns and operates vibrant year-round downtown farmers markets: Winter Market throughout the winter, and Tuesday Market in the spring, summer, and fall. Over 30 local farms and craft vendors sell produce, value-added farm products, and crafts directly to customers generating over half a million dollars in sales. Grow Food Northampton conducts a SNAP Match program for low-income customers to more than double their purchasing power of local farm products. The farmers markets serve as a weekly food hub of food system activity and community-building with music, games, and food-centered activities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Grow Food Northampton's Free Mobile Farmers Market program purchases fresh produce and other products from local farms to deliver for free to community members experiencing food insecurity. Fresh farm foods are distributed to six subsidized housing communities throughout the winter, and 16 housing communities in the spring, summer, and fall. Guided by Grow Food Northampton's Food Access Advisory Committee, comprised of community members grappling with food insecurity, the Mobile Markets also provide a wide range of food-related activities in English and Spanish, including recipe distribution, cooking videos, food preparation demos, and other community-building activities focused multi-culturally on holidays, celebrations, and food.

Population(s) Served
Social and economic status

Grow Food Northampton owns and stewards the 121-acre organic Grow Food Northampton Community Farm where we:
• Lease low- and no-cost farmland to 10 small farms (including four farms owned and operated by Farmers of Color, including a collective of 20 Somali Bantu refugee families);
• Run a 330-plot Organic Community Garden for over 400 community members, more than 35% of whom receive subsidized or no-cost plots to grow food for themselves, their families, and their neighbors;
• Operate a Giving Garden that grows thousands of pounds of food annually for donation to local food pantries and community meal sites;
• Grow scores of edible plants and trees for community foraging;
• Conduct collaborative research projects with academics and others on climate resilience-enhancing agricultural practices; and
• Provide extensive land- and food-based educational programming for children and adults.

Population(s) Served
Social and economic status
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Social and economic status
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work


Best of the Valley - Farmers Market 2022

Valley Advocate

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of farmers who sold to an organization as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Referring to our farmer lessees, who sell their products locally to various vendors.

Acres of farmland protected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We own a 121-acre Community Farm

Area of land, in hectares, directly controlled by the organization and under sustainable cultivation or sustainable stewardship

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We own a 121-acre Community Farm

Number of people within the organization's service area accessing food aid

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Food Access for Low-Income, Disabled, and Senior Residents

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Community Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our vision is equitable land and food access for all.

Our values are:
- Community Power
- Environmental Stewardship
- Social, Economic and Racial Justice

Goals and Strategies
We will create a just and resilient local food system by:
- Shifting power to those most affected by food insecurity and helping to actualize the power of members of our community.
- Increasing collaboration with partners throughout the community.
- Growing a culture of care within our organization and community.
- Strengthening our organization financially to continue to nourish our community and protect and enrich the earth.

The core components of our work are:

1. Land Access and Stewardship
We provide ethical stewardship of and equitable access to farmland so that people can grow food for themselves and our community.

2. Food Access
We partner with community members, farms, and organizations to increase access to locally and sustainably grown food.

3. Education
We facilitate opportunities for community members to exchange knowledge about sustainable gardening and farming, preparing and eating nutritious foods, and creating a just local food system.

The Community Farm is the backbone of our organization and where it all began. Thanks to a
collaborative preservation effort of the Trust for Public Land and the City of Northampton, two
farms previously known as the Bean and Allard farms were restricted from development. In
2010, the Trust for Public Land purchased both farms, a total of 180 acres for $2.5 million, then
sold 60 of these acres to the City of Northampton to establish a recreational complex and a river
greenway. On the remaining 121 acres of land, the City and the Massachusetts Department of
Agricultural Resources purchased an Agricultural Preservation Restriction to ensure forever-protected farmland.

Through enormous community organizing efforts, citizens of Northampton came together to
purchase this farmland and form what is now the non-profit organization, Grow Food
Northampton. In only six months in 2010, we raised over $670,000 to buy all 121 acres of land.
In 2011, Grow Food Northampton purchased the Agricultural Preservation Restriction farmland
from the Trust for Public Land and the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm was born.

Over its first decade, Grow Food Northampton first focused on securing the land and legal
agreements, establishing uses, recruiting users, and creating agreements with tenant farmers.
We developed successful educational programming and built and managed what is now known
as the Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden. In more recent years, we created
and manage the Giving Garden, purchased the Tuesday Market, and focused on programming
along with community outreach, financial stability, and organizational development among our
many accomplishments. During this period, we established a reputation as a solid, progressive
organization and valued community partner. Staffing and programs also grew considerably over
the last decade.

In 2020, our organization experienced a leadership transition and shortly after, was confronted
with the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Despite the challenges, we were able to pivot
existing programs and create a new program, the Community Food Distribution Project, in
response to food insecurity associated with the pandemic. The community responded to our
leadership with increased donations and funding.

With a strong reputation and established impact in the community, we have a solid foundation on
which to build the future of our organization.

In 2021, Grow Food Northampton continue to grow and adapt its programs to build a just local food system.

We accomplished the following benchmarks that year:

Food Access
- 300,000 lbs. of farm products purchased from 27 local farms
- 2,100 individuals and 800 families at 14 subsidized housing communities received regular deliveries of free fresh local farm foods
- 7,000 lbs. of Giving Garden-grown produce donated to our 4 community partners
- $123,500 of SNAP and HIP benefits spent at our farmers markets, supporting 30 local farmers and vendors

Land Access & Stewardship
- 121 acres of land stewarded and protected for agricultural use
- 10 farmer lessees, including farmers of color, and farmers from groups historically disadvantaged by the conventional food system.
- 375 community gardeners, including 58 subsidized garden plots for those experiencing economic hardship

- 1,080 students reached in all of Northampton's public elementary schools
- 54 in-school workshops, 32 virtual workshops
- 12 youth workshops on the Community Farm and in subsidized housing communities, and 9 all-age workshops on the Community Farm

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals, To shape, design, lead, and implement all of our programs

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2022 Grow Food Northampton 2021 2021 Audited Financial Statements
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 1.76 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 9.9 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 12% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of GROW FOOD NORTHAMPTON INC’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $31,322 -$49,805 $54,933 $171,485 $75,835
As % of expenses 9.9% -14.7% 11.1% 27.3% 9.9%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $10,314 -$66,452 $42,857 $148,332 $45,645
As % of expenses 3.1% -18.7% 8.5% 22.8% 5.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $319,905 $321,960 $791,166 $748,534 $733,614
Total revenue, % change over prior year 19.4% 0.6% 145.7% -5.4% -2.0%
Program services revenue 22.5% 18.5% 4.8% 13.5% 19.7%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 22.4% 16.0% 10.9% 39.0% 19.8%
All other grants and contributions 55.2% 65.5% 79.9% 47.5% 60.5%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 4.3% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $316,909 $338,644 $494,594 $628,244 $763,231
Total expenses, % change over prior year 24.8% 6.9% 46.1% 27.0% 21.5%
Personnel 47.7% 55.3% 57.1% 53.6% 54.9%
Professional fees 11.8% 11.8% 7.4% 7.5% 8.8%
Occupancy 5.7% 6.0% 3.2% 2.9% 3.3%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 34.8% 27.0% 32.3% 35.9% 33.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $337,917 $355,291 $506,670 $651,397 $793,421
One month of savings $26,409 $28,220 $41,216 $52,354 $63,603
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $89,709 $37,930
Total full costs (estimated) $364,326 $383,511 $547,886 $793,460 $894,954

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 6.5 4.2 10.0 9.4 6.2
Months of cash and investments 6.5 4.2 10.0 9.4 6.2
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.4 -0.6 0.7 2.1 2.4
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $172,162 $118,658 $411,845 $493,587 $397,109
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $26,383 $59,460 $80,681 $38,348 $76,448
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $724,061 $729,409 $735,141 $815,355 $853,285
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 10.5% 12.7% 14.2% 14.5% 17.4%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 14.6% 15.3% 13.4% 12.8% 17.5%
Unrestricted net assets $685,208 $618,756 $661,613 $809,945 $855,590
Temporarily restricted net assets $45,375 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $45,375 $78,496 $320,135 $268,938 $163,486
Total net assets $730,583 $697,252 $981,748 $1,078,883 $1,019,076

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Alisa Klein

Helming Grow Food Northampton allows Alisa to bring her extensive background in program management, policy analysis and advocacy, and fundraising to work that is near and dear to her heart – food justice and environmental sustainability. Prior to joining the organization, Alisa served as the Director of NEARI Press, a specialty publishing house and training center, and was the principal in her own consulting firm specializing in organizational development, public health prevention of interpersonal violence, international conflict resolution, and social justice advocacy. Alisa also served as Officer for Partnerships at Proteus Fund, and as the Director of Public Policy for a national organization working to end sexual violence. Alisa is a long-time activist and community organizer working on issues as diverse, yet interconnected, as the climate emergency, and ending the carceral continuum. Between 2014 and 2020, Alisa served as a Northampton, MA city councilor.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 08/23/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Caitlin Marquis

Donna Wiley

Cynthia Suopis

Mary Bates

Diego Irizarry- Gerould

Kia Aoki

Michael Quinlan

Rebecca Busansky

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/22/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/22/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.