Thirty-five households with limited incomes now are receiving weekly boxes of fresh produce known as "Solidarity CSA Shares" through a partnership of Press Bay Alley Food Hub, the Friendship Donations Network (FDN), and the Healthy Food For All (HFFA) program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County.
When Covid 19 first appeared in March, spring Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season had not yet begun and food pantries were challenged to provide perishable foods in response to the resulting upsurge in food insecurity. During April and May, HFFA and FDN partnered to distribute sliding scale weekly food boxes featuring fresh, local produce as well as pantry staples through home delivery across the county and at Press Bay Alley in Ithaca. In June, over a dozen local farms started distributing weekly produce through CSA shares including nearly 200 shares subsidized by HFFA for qualifying households. But by June 1st, most local CSA farms had sold out and HFFA and its partners looked for additional means to meet the increased need for affordable local food options, including increased levels of subsidies for those in need.
After surveying partners and the community, HFFA created new CSA shares to fill the gap for low-income households seeking a way to afford fresh produce. CSA subscribers pay a self-determined sliding-scale fee and pick up their weekly box of produce on Sundays at Press Bay Alley (delivery is possible if needed). These new "Solidarity CSA Shares" launched on July 26th and will run through the end of August with the expectation that the program will continue in the fall pending funding.
Grant funds enabled the partners to purchase produce for the boxes from Six Circles Farm, thus supporting local producers while also assisting people in need. Solidarity CSA Shares are provided through a partnership of Healthy Food For All at CCE-Tompkins, Six Circles Farm, Friendship Donations Network, PressBay Food Transfer Hub and the Tompkins Covid 19 Food Task Force with support from the Community Foundation of Tompkins County and the United Way of Tompkins County. For information on the Solidarity CSA share to be offered in the fall, contact info@HealthyFoodForAll.org or call 607-272-2292 x242. To donate in support of this effort, visit: http://www.healthyfoodforall.org/donate/.
Last updated December 1, 2022