CSA Provides Access To Fresh Produce

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The Food Bank of Delaware is continuing their second year of the Community Supported Agriculture Program, partnering with local growers to provide all Delawareans, regardless of income, access to fresh produce. With food shares available on a weekly basis to participants in June, depending on the spring growing season, the Food Bank is urging individuals to join the Community Supported Agriculture Program now.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food as members invest in a farm during the year and collect their produce shares weekly during the summer. The Food Bank of Delaware uses a modified CSA model to distribute fresh, locally-grown produce to community members of various income levels.

The program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, Delaware Department of Agriculture and Syngenta, provides participants with the opportunity to purchase shares of locally-sourced produce. Shareholders can expect to see 8-10 different varieties of produce each week and contents of the packages vary depending on what is in season.
Families who are income eligible receive shares at a deep discount. Full shares cost $10 each week, while half shares are five dollars each week. Community members who are not income eligible may purchase full or half-shares for $500 and $250, respectively. The purchased share cost includes a tax-deductible donation to the Food Bank of Delaware to help fund shares for participants with lower incomes.

“We do know that low-income families have a difficult time accessing fresh, local produce,” stated Kim Turner, Communications Director for the Food Bank of Delaware. “This program will help guide those families to where then can have access to healthy food.”

The CSA program was successful in its inaugural year in 2013, distributing 45,000 pounds of locally-grown produce to Delaware residents of all income levels. Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe is eager to continue the work of this program for a second year.

“We are continuing our commitment to ensure that all members of the Delaware community are provided with opportunity to obtain fresh and local produce that is also affordable,” she said. “Regardless of income level, all Delawareans should have access to healthy foods.”

Donor shares for the Greater Milford area will be available for weekly pickup, 18 weeks total, this summer at the Food Bank of Delaware Milford Branch located at 1040 Mattlind Way off of Airport Road. Income-eligible shares will be available for pickup at the Wilmington Farmers’ Market at Cool Springs Park and Downtown Dover Farmers’ Market. In addition to receiving farm fresh produce, some shareholders will also receive tokens to be used around their local farmers market to purchase SNAP-approved items such as artisan bread, fresh eggs, local honey and homemade pasta. To join a as a Community member, individuals can contact the CSA Coordinator Barbara Brkovich at (302) 292-1305 ext 204 or bbrkovich@fbd.org.