Improving Food Access
by Adele Franks
for Grow Food Northampton
GFN is working in several ways to bring this season’s bounty of fresh, healthy food from the Northampton Community Farm to households with limited income.
This year GFN doubled the number of farmshares it sponsors for local low-income senior citizens in collaboration with CISA. In the peak of the summer season, 18 seniors will pick up specially designed Crimson and Clover (C&C) farmshares delivered by GFN volunteers to the Northampton Senior Center.
GFN volunteers also regularly deliver fresh produce from C&C to local hunger relief agencies– Manna Soup Kitchen and the Northampton Survival Center. In addition, at the Florence Organic Community Garden, volunteers are putting their sweat and good will into growing vegetables in a dedicated Hunger Relief plot, and just this week delivered their first salad greens to the Survival Center.
Furthermore, to eliminate the cash burden on SNAP (food stamp) recipients, this season C&C is accepting SNAP debit cards to pay for 1/2 of the cost of a weekly farmshare. GFN’s new double SNAP subsidy is covering the remaining cost!
Finally, new this fall, GFN will offer partial scholarships to low-income families who wish to enroll their children in programs offered by the Farm Education Collaborative at C&C Farm. Spread the word! Children excited about fresh, local food can inspire their families to do start a home garden or cook more from scratch with local food!