Although the Central Brooklyn CSA is a community-organized effort of Brooklyn citizens, we are able to provide low-cost shares for citizens through the Farm Fresh Initiative, a program run by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.
The Coalition’s original mission was to “coordinate the activities of the emergency food providers in the city so that issues can be identified, prioritized and addressed effectively.” Though its aims have expanded and evolved over the last two decades – for example, it has strengthened advocacy and legislative efforts and now provides national service participants to emergency food providers – food access for all New Yorkers has always remained the Coalition’s animating goal.
The Farm Fresh Initiative is a city-wide program model that addresses this question by providing families with choices while connecting small local farms to low and middle income New Yorkers in traditionally under-served communities.
The centerpiece of this citywide program is a unique mixed income Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model that makes healthy, organic, fresh vegetables accessible to community members of all income levels by offering a variety of personalized payment options, including the ability to purchase vegetable shares using SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits.
NYCCAH’s involvement in the Central Brooklyn CSA is to support the mixed-income and community building aspect of the CSA, provide funding for the subsidized share prices, staffing support, and an AmeriCorps volunteer who coordinates the CSA.
If you are able to, please consider donating to NYCCAH to help programs like ours running by clicking here.
We are happy to announce that next Wednesday, May 26th from 6 – 8 PM will be our Farmer Meet and Greet, with Martin and Gaudencia Rodriguez of MimoMex Farm. This is your time to introduce yourself to the people growing your food, to get to know them, and to ask them questions about the farm!
This event will take place at our distribution location, Hebron SDA Church at 1256 Dean Street on the corner of New York Avenue. Refreshments will be provided.
This event is open to all current and interested members of the Central Brooklyn CSA, so spread the word to anyone who may be interested in joining.
On the average CSA’s cost less than buying the same foods in “traditional” stores. In fact, when you do the math, most CSA’s cost a lot less. I would not say I am cheap (my girlfriend, however, would), but I do hate to overpay for things. The cost value in most CSA’s is probably the reason I signed on in the first place, and for me, the savings are real. What’s more, paying for four months of produce all at once helps me budget what I spend on groceries better (sweet!) and helps me eat better, too (more on this in a later post!).
There is a risk in CSA’s – since the food is pre-purchased, local weather conditions can affect the harvest. However, CSA’s use professional farmers, who are up to the challenges that weather provides and rarely if ever are CSA members left holding the (empty) bag. (The proof is in the pudding on this one, most CSA’s bring back the vast majority of their members year-to-year.)