Teamwork makes the dream work. In the case of Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP), the organization has, for years, created ways to get affordable and easy-to-access fresh foods into hands (and mouths) of countless disadvantaged Western NY families.
Now, more than ever, we are seeing families struggle financially due to COVID-19. That means that sourcing farm fresh foods is more difficult than ever.
With the help of Rich Products, MAP is now introducing a new program called “All Access Pass” that will allow families to save up to 50%, if they are experiencing pandemic-related food inequities. This initiative came about when MAP members began to notice a shift in the way people were paying for their food.
“Right at the beginning of the market season, we noticed folks who seemed to be new to using EBT/SNAP cards and others that were digging in their pockets for coins to pay for their food. We started talking to people and learned that lots of our customers were out of work,” says Danielle Rovillo, MAP Markets Director. “We still hear of customers who are waiting for unemployment benefits to kick in or are trying to figure out how to afford childcare because their kids will not be going to school this month.”
Unfortunately, when families are adversely impacted by shifts in the economy, they tend to resort to budgeting and rationing healthy foods which ultimately leads to bad eating habits and poor health.
“The All Access Pass program is designed to keep residents eating produce through the growing season with less impact on their household budgets,” said Kevin Aman, Rich’s Vice President of Community Engagement “MAP continues to anticipate the needs of our neighbors, giving all a better chance at staying healthy this fall.”
The All Access Pass will allow families to purchase discounted produce at any one of MAP’s Mobile Markets. The purchases can be made by cash, credit, SNAP, or Farmers Market Nutrition Program $4 coupons. In order to qualify, all someone has to do is ask for the pass to get a 50% discount on the farm fresh goods… no questions asked, or forms to fill out.
Currently, the seasonal farm fresh foods are being sourced from MAP’s West Side farm, Oles Family Farm, Erdle Farm, 5 Loaves Farm, Weiss Farms, Hamlet Farms, Flat #12 Mushrooms, and Cornerstone Orchards.
To access the locally sourced foods, visit the MAP Mobile Market on any of the following days and times:
- Tuesdays 3-5pm at Buffalo Promise Neighborhood (Bailey Ave & Dartmouth Ave)
- Wednesdays 4-6pm at Elim Church (Holden Ave & Chalmers St)
- Thursdays 11am-1pm at Hispaics United of Buffalo (Virginia St & 10th St)
- Thursdays 3-6pm at MAP Farmhouse (387 Massachusetts Ave)
Wednesdays 10-11am MAP Mobile Market, in partnership with FreshFix, distributes affordable boxes of produce at Neighborhood Health Centers. This is not a regular market. Folks can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or stop by to inquire. Or visit www.mass-ave.org/shop.
Follow @massaveproject on social media for schedule updates. New sites coming soon.
Lead image: MAP’s Roadside Farm Stand – courtesy MAP