Skip to main content

About the Farm


The Penn Park Farm, which originated through the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative (PFWC), is a unique, multidisciplinary initiative that engages stakeholders from across the Penn community around four central pillars of wellness, food access, sustainability, and education. Wellness at Penn, Penn's Center for Public Health, and Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) joined together to establish the PFWC in 2019. FRES provides expertise in planning, land stewardship, design, operations, and maintenance. PFWC’s flagship site is the Penn Park Farm, Penn’s first and only on-campus farm. Each year, the farm grows thousands of pounds of organic produce to support food access initiatives and hosts a wide variety of programming including research, internships, class visits, courses, workshops, volunteer opportunities, and events.

The Location 


The Penn Park Farm is located at the southernmost tip of Penn Park, one of Penn’s largest green spaces. Nestled between open recreational fields and the Penn Park Orchard, the Penn Food and Wellness Farm site is visible from the South Street bridge and accessible via pedestrian paths from Shoemaker Green and the Penn Ice Rink. The Penn Park Farm uses regenerative agricultural practices and grows approximately 2,000 lbs. of produce each year. It is also a living laboratory and community space that provides opportunities for applied learning and publicly available wellness programs for hundreds of Penn’s students, faculty, staff and neighbors.

The Food


The Penn Park Farm grows more than a thousand pounds of fresh, organic produce each year! That produce is distributed for free through our food access programs and partnerships.

Food Access

Each week we distribute over 200 servings of fresh, organic produce to our distribution partners. They help us get the food we grow directly to members of the Penn community and to students on Penn’s campus who are experiencing food insecurity. We partner with The Netter Center for Community Partnerships to support students at Penn experiencing food insecurity through a network of produce distribution sites. We also work with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) to supply fresh produce to their employee food pantry initiative. We also work with Food Not Bombs Solidarity to distribute produce to our neighbors in West Philadelphia.

  • The Campus Good Food Bag (GFB) Program led by The Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (AUNI), a University Assisted Community Schools (UACS) program of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, in partnership with Penn Park Farm, is an innovative food sovereignty project designed to address food insecurity and access at Penn, one that connects first-generation undergraduate and graduate students, with demonstrated financial need to delicious, locally grown, chemical free produce, recipes and tips. This program is free to students with demonstrated need thanks to the generous fiduciary support of Penn First Plus, Student Intervention Services and USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This collaboration will also enhance the Netter Center’s mission of civic engagement by providing internship and work-study opportunities for Penn interns, as well as monetary incentives for Netter UACS high school students during the summer months.
    • If you are a student who self identifies as food insecure and would like to sign up for the Good Food Bag program, please fill out the Fall 2022 Good Food Bag Interest Survey. Filling out this survey will not automatically register you for the weekly pick-ups. To register for the pick-ups, you will have to fill out the Good Food Bag Registration Form. Once you fill out this interest form and provide your phone and/or email, we will send the Registration Form to you on a weekly basis. If you have any questions, please email Jacob Hershman at jacoh@sas.upenn.edu
  • If you are a HUP employee who self identifies as food insecure and would like more information about the employee food pantry please contact Sofia Carreno at Sofia.Carreno@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

 

Culinary Education

Our produce is utilized in educational opportunities such as cooking classes, study breaks, and herbal medicine making workshops.

 

The Programs


At the intersection of countless educational and wellness related initiatives, the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative partners with stakeholders across Penn’s campus to provide year round programming and academic opportunities.

  • Academic Partnerships: The food system is a complex field of study that requires an interdisciplinary approach. Therefore, we work with faculty from a wide range of schools and departments to incorporate applied learning opportunities for students into their curriculum, courses, fieldwork and capstone projects, and research. Using the food system as a lens, students are able to explore some of the most urgent issues of our society including everything from climate change to public health and food sovereignty.
  • Internships and Public Programs: PFWC also provides extracurricular opportunities for learning. We run summer and academic year internship programs where we support student cohorts in developing their leadership skills and provide technical training in regenerative agriculture, public speaking, and communications. Our student interns serve as liaisons for PFWC and its pillars. They provide relevant and engaging peer-to-peer educational opportunities within their interest areas on topics like student food access resources, workshops promoting mental and physical health, and volunteer days and tours of Penn Park Farm.
  • Events: We love hosting people at our beautiful farm as well as at our partner sites. We host study breaks, festivals, wellness workshops, farm dinners, exercise classes and more.
  • Wellness Programs: Penn Park Farm is a vibrant wellness hub for the Penn community. We host volunteer days which are unique opportunities for students and staff to come out and get their hands dirty and spend time outside. We partner with existing campus initiatives to host wellness events that prioritize movement, time in nature, nutrition, and inclusive community building. We also supplement our produce distribution programs for students with relevant workshops on food budgeting and cooking.

Students


The Penn Park Farm provides a community space in which students can put away their “Penn Face” and spend time working with their hands. Beyond farming, we aim to educate students on the technical skills and foundational principles of sustainable agriculture, and inspire lifelong passion for the outdoors.

Want to get involved with the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative?

  • Stay up to date by following us on Instagram @pennfoodandwellness.
  • Sign up for our monthly newsletters to stay in the know about the farm, events, and job opportunities.
  • Come down to the farm to volunteer with us
  • Join the Penn Park Farm Club.
  • Apply to be a part of the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative Team.
  • Bring your friends, clubs, or classes to the farm for a group tour or volunteer day.

Faculty and Staff


The Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative welcomes collaboration with Penn’s incredible faculty and staff. The farm is a great place for field trips, hands-on learning and has the capacity to serve as an outdoor laboratory for research. Staff can also host events at the farm, weather permitting.

Interested in utilizing our living laboratory?

  • Bring your class to the Penn Park Farm for a field trip.
  • Collaborate with us on long-term class projects or research.
  • Host your office or staff retreat at the Penn Park Farm for a unique colleague bonding experience.

To coordinate, please reach out to Emylee Fleshman at emylee@upenn.edu.

The Philadelphia Community


Community members are always welcome at volunteer days and events hosted by the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative.