Farm to Family is an innovative subsidized CSA (community supported agriculture) program that serves low-income families in the Dorchester, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods of Boston. Through this program, The Food Project and our community partners hope to increase access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food in under served households in these neighborhoods. One of the largest subsidized CSA programs in the country, it has become a leading model in the nationwide "farm to preschool" movement through the involvement of Head Start centers as program partners. The subsidized CSA model allows for streamlined access to fresh, healthy food, and collaboration with key community partners allows us to connect with people who may not otherwise be able to obtain it.
Each week from July to October, participating households receive a box share of vegetables grown at The Food Project's farm in Lincoln, Mass. Each households pays $5 per box share, and the remaining cost of the program is subsidized by grants, money raised by our community partners, and contributions from our market-rate CSA program members. In addition, participants have the option of using their EBT or SNAP benefits to pay for their weekly shares. Along with these vegetables, TFP provides extra support in the form of bilingual newsletters, recipe suggestions, food storage guidelines, and nutrition and cooking workshops.
The vegetables are delivered to families at community meeting places such as health centers, Head Start centers, and community centers. Each week, The Food Project's farmers bring box shares directly from our farm to drop-off sites in Dorchester and Roxbury, where our dedicated community partners distribute the produce to participating families.
After a small trial program in 2010, The Food Project piloted the full Farm to Family program in the spring of 2011 in collaboration with several local community organizations, including Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures, Action for Boston Community Development Head Start, the Bowdoin Street Health Center, Children's Hospital Boston, and the Dimock Health Center. Each of these community partners has helped to raise money, recruit participants, distribute box shares, and collect payments from participating families. Each community partner organization hosts one or more produce distribution sites where participants pick up their box shares each week.
For more information about the Farm to Family program, please contact the Farm to Family Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-259-8621 x28. Below are community organizations currently participating in Farm to Family:
- ABCD Jamaica Plain Head Start
- ABCD Parker Hill Head Start
- ABCD Roxbury Head Start
Contact: Cathy Wirth, email@example.com, 617-373-7615
Contact: Sonia Carter, Nutrition Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-348-6292
- ABCD Dorchester Head Start / Gertrude E. Townsend Head Start / Early Head Start @ Geneva Ave
- ABCD Dorchester Neighborhood Service Center
- Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter's
- Dorchester CARES Family Resource Center
- Bowdoin Street Health Center
Contact: Maura Beaufait, Healthy Food Access Coordinator, email@example.com, 617-754-0026
Martha Eliot Health Center at Children's Hospital
- Martha Eliot Health Center
Contact: Christine Healey, Program and Community Partnerships Manager, Office of Child Advocacy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-919-3053