River Valley Co-op (RVC) and Grow Food Northampton’s partnership goes all the way back to when…
2017 was our 6th year offering the SNAP Share Program. Grow Food Northampton partners with Crimson & Clover Farm to offer subsidized CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares for SNAP clients. The SNAP Share provides a weekly pick up of sustainably grown vegetables for 20 weeks from June through the end of October (or 24 for those opting for an extended season) at the Crimson & Clover farmstand. We had 39 participants for the 2017 season.
Shareholders were able to sign up for an automatic payment system with the MA Department of Transitional Assistance, avoiding the hassle and potential stigma of swiping an EBT card at the farm. This system also made it easier to take advantage of HIP (Healthy Incentives Program), which reimbursed much of the cost of the farm share back to clients’ SNAP accounts.
In total, the program enable shareholders to purchase produce worth $589, with approximately 84% paid for out of their SNAP accounts, 50% covered by he HIP reimbursement, and 16% subsidized directly by Grow Food Northampton.
We surveyed participants and the results were very positive: 91% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of produce; 100% were satisfied or very satisfied with the quantity of vegetables; 75% were satisfied or very satisfied with the variety and 100% were satisfied or very satisfied with the program overall (see chart below).
Here are some additional survey results:
- 100% of respondents said that the enrollment process was easy
- 92% said the pickup time and location at Crimson and Clover was convenient
- The largest age group was 30-39, making up 43% of respondents and the second largest was 50-59, making up 21% of the respondents.
- 75% of respondents tried vegetables that they had never eaten before
- 92% ate more vegetables and said that their diet was healthier because of the program
- 67% of respondents found out about the HIP program from someone at Grow Food Northampton, and
- 83% thought the Share Cost with the HIP reimbursement was affordable.
I’m a ‘1 %er.’ Not through hard work and perseverance, nor by my ingenuity, nor vision, but by my family inheritance. My inheritance money accumulated due to many of the exact factors that have kept my Valley neighbors in many generations of economic and social insecurity: unfair labor practices; systemic racism in housing, employment, and education; and American capitalism and world imperialism. What an opportune time to return some of ‘my’ money ($20,000) to those nearby, who are suffering economic and food insecurity in this time of COVID. The Community Food Distribution Project (CFDP) has created an amazing distribution network between our Valley farmers and our community suffering food insecurity. What an awesome opportunity to donate!! Please consider taking this perfect historical moment with me to return some of your family wealth to our beloved Valley farmers and neighbors!
“We are pleased to be able to contribute to these worthy organizations that meet the needs of our most vulnerable community members during this time of crisis. The Community Food Distribution Project was easy to get behind. It’s a grassroots effort created and supported by our local community to help those most in need.”
“It was fantastic and well organized! LOVED the lesson!”
– 3rd Grade Teacher from Ryan Road
“I liked the discussion at the end (to give broader understanding of concepts). I also liked the recipe so kids could make it at home.”
– 2nd Grade Teacher at Leeds