Gives me a chance to chat with friends each week.

2016 Senior FarmShare participant

Big improvement in our eating and we love having the sample recipes.

2016 Senior FarmShare participant

It’s so important to my health to have fresh produce, and I liked the recipes you handed out.

2016 Senior FarmShare participant

Red Bag farm shares for low-income families at school

The Red Bag program, piloting at Jackson Street School in 2016, provides a weekly bag of vegetables for low-income families that can be picked up after school for the first 10 weeks of the school year.

AFFORDABLE! $20 for 10 weeks, or $2 per week (value of over $120!)

FRESH & LOCAL! 5 or more vegetables each week, grown at Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence

CONVENIENT! Pick up Thursdays, 3–4:30pm, right at Jackson Street School

To participate:

  • Your family must either use the free/reduced lunch program in the Northampton public schools and/or receive SNAP benefits.
  • You do not need to have a child at JSS.
  • You must register for the season and pick up your Red Bag each week (or have someone pick it up for you).

Applying for a Red Bag

Applications can be picked up at the Jackson Street School office (usually open until 2:30 on weekdays during the summer), or downloaded and printed here in English and Spanish.

How is this great deal possible?

We are fortunate to have financial support from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and individual donors to make up the difference between the $20 participation fee and the $125 cost of each share. In addition, we are grateful to Jackson Street School and Families With Power for providing space, planning, coordination, and volunteers, and to the volunteers themselves. The JSS PTO has also generously agreed to refund $10 to participating families with at least one child at JSS, reducing the cost to just $1 per week!

 Impact

By reducing financial, convenience, and other barriers, Grow Food Northampton expects to help between 30 and 50 low-income families bring 60 to 80 pounds of fresh, local food into their homes during our 2016 Red Bag pilot program. We hypothesize that outcomes will include perceived improvements in diet and health, increased understanding of local and seasonal food supplies, and stronger preference for fresh, local food among participants. We hope that participants will return to the program in future years and recruit new families, and that some will learn about and use other programs that provide low-cost local produce, such as SNAP & Save at Tuesday Market and other farmers’ markets and our Double SNAP Share program.

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