WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO
At Sanctuary Farm Philadelphia, we're sowing the seeds of health, community, and sustainability. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and urban farm located in the heart of North Philadelphia, dedicated to promoting positive change within our community. Our mission is simple yet powerful: to provide fresh, organically grown produce and implement programs that enhance the well-being of our residents.
Sanctuary Farm is dedicated to tackling the health disparities arising from systemic racial inequality and economic injustices. We achieve this by transforming neglected and abandoned spaces within our community into welcoming, nourishing, and thriving environments that prioritize safety and well-being.
We convert abandoned and neglected areas in our community into spaces that promote safety, hospitality, nutrition, and growth.
Our mission at Sanctuary Farm is clear and resolute: We strive to empower our community by combating health inequalities stemming from systemic racial oppression and economic injustice. After 50 years of being a food desert, we are determined to see our North Philadelphia community be a food forest for fresh foods and a living inspiration to scale. We execute this through the revitalization of abandoned spaces, we create environments that prioritize safety, hospitality, nutrition, and growth. By nurturing this mission, we work to build a more equitable and vibrant North Philadelphia where everyone can thrive.
We are an urban farm serving as a catalyst for positive change.
Our vision at Sanctuary Farm is to cultivate a resilient and interconnected North Philadelphia community. We envision a vibrant space where everyone has access to nutritious food, where families come together to learn and grow, and where urban farming serves as a catalyst for positive change.
Working together to create a space of beauty, safety, and healing for those who need it most.
Sanctuary Farm's journey began in early 2016, when its visionary founder, Andrea Vettori, conceived the idea. As the clinical director for Mary Howard Health Center for the Homeless, Andrea possessed extensive experience in working with individuals facing homelessness and housing instability. Her passion for gardening and beekeeping further deepened her understanding of the healing potential that comes from connecting with the earth. With the support of neighbors, dedicated volunteers, and valuable non-profit partnerships, Sanctuary Farm took its first steps, breaking ground on an empty North Philadelphia lot in May 2017.
Since its establishment in 2017, Sanctuary Farm has cultivated over 17,300 pounds of fresh produce, all of which has been generously distributed to over 700 families in our community, free of charge.
We strongly believe in the transformative power of nature, which provides opportunities for neighbors to unite, working together to create a space of beauty, safety, and healing for those who need it most.
Meet Andrea Vettori
Andrea Vettori, a seasoned nurse practitioner with more than 25 years of experience in the field, has dedicated her career to serving vulnerable populations, particularly those battling homelessness. For seven years, she served as the Clinical Director at the Mary Howard Health Center for the Homeless, overseeing a dedicated team of approximately 20 professionals committed to delivering healthcare and social support to the homeless community.
In 2019, Andrea decided to channel her passion and expertise towards developing the immense potential of Sanctuary Farm, a project she initiated in 2017. As both a nurse and a master gardener, she possesses a unique perspective on the connection between health and nature.
Andrea is dedicated to ensuring that individuals on the margins of society can access the healing potential of the natural world. Her adeptness at building relationships and establishing networks has been instrumental in the growth and support of Sanctuary Farm, both within the community and beyond.
Andrea is also a longtime beekeeper. As she tends to the hives, she not only harvests the liquid gold that is honey but also symbolizes her unwavering commitment to the well-being of her community in North Philly. Andrea's determination and dedication are like the bees themselves – hardworking, tireless, and essential to the health of the ecosystem. Through her expertise and passion, she's paving the way for a healthier, more sustainable community, one that's deeply connected to nature. In addition to her role at Sanctuary Farm, Andrea continues to work as a nurse practitioner at a local federally qualified health center.