Friends vice-president inspired by Fresh Access program

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Photo by Shirley Murtha

Hard to catch these three when they aren’t in motion: Mark Fiorentino about to hit the trail with Apollo (l.) and Hobbs.

When Mark Fiorentino heard about the Fresh Access program at Holcomb Farm, he knew that he wanted to get involved. In fact, the Farm was one of the selling points offered by their realtor when he and his wife were looking to move here in 2009 from Las Vegas. The rural atmosphere, horse-friendly town and great schools were important, but Mark really gravitated to the idea of providing fresh, locally grown food to those in need. Soon after they settled in, he introduced himself to the board and was welcomed on.

Now, as vice-president of the Friends of Holcomb Farm board, Mark is primarily responsible for leading the team that implements the Fresh Access program. With the help of the community partners —Granby Senior Center, Granby Social Services, Granby Community Fund, Waste Not Want Not, the Hispanic Health Council, the Healing Meals Community Project, and the Wheeler Clinic— the program is on pace to distribute more than eight tons of produce this year. This helps people in Granby, all of the Farmington Valley, and the metro areas of Hartford, New Britain, Waterbury and Bristol.

Mark’s current goal is to develop a strategic plan for the continued growth of the program: to increase the amount of food distributed and to do it for a larger portion of the year. He wants the program to be even more responsive to the needs of its partner distributors and their constituents.

Mark has been an attorney for almost 30 years. Certainly, some of the areas of his expertise in government relations, land use, lobbying and intellectual property have been beneficial to the Farm in general, and specifically the Fresh Access program.

Mark’s wife Kristal is a yoga therapist and life coach. Their two children attend UConn: Gage is a senior studying sports management and Ellie is a freshman majoring in marine science. Perhaps their career choices relate back to growing up with a dad who loves fishing and watching sports. Mark also enjoys hiking and being with Kristal and the kids. The whole family, including Kristal’s mom Luan, have fun with the horse, donkey, two golden retrievers and five cats who share their North Granby home.