Farmshare opportunities should not solely be a privilege, they should be available to everyone regardless of economic standing. That’s why the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) Neighborhood Farm Share is so important. The program offers a subsidy to lower income applicants who are looking to access healthy, locally grown, organic products.
A recent participant wrote, “You have no idea what it means to have this help. It is wonderful that you and NOFA-NY do so much to help so many people get what we could not have gotten otherwise. I want you to know how deeply appreciated you all are!”
Typically, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is dedicated to people people who are able to afford the cost of wholesome pre-planned food deliveries. For those who live from paycheck to paycheck, or who might be down on their luck, CSA’s can seem prohibitive. By offering subsidies, a broader sector of the city is able to access healthy food options, which will have a short term and long term impact on this city’s overall health.
This is the fifth year that NOFA-NY has offered these subsidies, and as the program grows, so does the ability for the low income community to participate in the important trend of healthy eating. The initiative is good for communities in Buffalo and Rochester, and is also good for the regional farms.
“At Porter Farms,” says Emily Porter Swarner 0f Porter Farms, located in Elba, NY. “Our goal has always been to keep our CSA simple and our costs low to make our fresh, local, organic produce accessible to all. Our participation in the Neighborhood Farm Share program allows us to welcome new members and stay true to our mission.”
Participants receive up to a $100 reduction in cost for a CSA share from one of NOFA-NY’s local farms. The participant pays the remainder of the cost of the share. EBT/Food stamps are accepted and payments can be made in increments.
Rochester and Buffalo applications, can be found here.
This year’s Rochester partner CSA farms are:
• Peacework Organic CSA (drop-offs in Rochester and Newark)
• Fellenz Family Farm CSA (drop-offs in Pittsford, Geneva, Canandaigua, and Brighton)
• The Good Food Collective (drop-offs in 12 Rochester locations and surrounding areas)
• Porter Farms (drop-offs in Brighton, Brockport, Chili, Greece, Irondequoit, Penfield, and various locations throughout the City of Rochester)
Buffalo partner CSA farms include:
• Porter Farms (22 locations throughout Buffalo, Alden, Amherst, East Amherst, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Hamburg, Kenmore, Lockport, Wheatfield, and Youngstown)
• Thorpes Organic Family Farm (East Aurora)
• 5 Loaves Farm (Buffalo)
• Common Roots Urban Farm (Buffalo)
“The Neighborhood Farm Share program is a win-win scenario that brings the community together,” says NOFA-NY’s Sondra Gjersoe who administrates the program. “By helping to make CSAs more affordable and connecting low-income community members with CSA farms, we are improving the consumption of healthy, organic produce by food insecure individuals while helping to grow CSA markets and support local farms.”
CSAs provide access to high-quality food that promotes community health. They also support the local economy by giving local, small-scale, family farmers a secure market to sell their produce, which frees them to focus on growing. Porter Farms, in Elba, NY has been participating in NOFA-NY’s Neighborhood Farm Share program since its inception.
Applications, found here http://bit.ly/1T3S6T4, should be submitted no later than May 2, and sent to: NOFA-NY, 1423 Hathaway Drive, Farmington, NY 14425, or faxed to (585) 271-7166. Once an individual is approved, the subsidy will be sent directly to their CSA partner farm of choice. Questions can be directed to (585) 271-1979 or email@example.com.