The 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living is launching a small pilot project to offer a harvest share to low income families using SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
A harvest share is a weekly box of fresh, certified organic produce from the farm each week during the month of August and through Sept. 10.
Similar in concept to a CSA (community supported agriculture) program, a harvest share is enough fresh produce from the farm to add healthy, organic, local food into a family’s diet each week.
In Washington state, low-income people with SNAP use an Electronic Benefits Transfer card to purchase groceries, called a Quest Card. Quest Cards can be used to pay for the harvest share each week at the 21 Acres Farm Market. Harvest shares cost $17 per week.
According to Meghan Tenhoff, manager of the new Harvest Share program, the 21 Acres market staff and the farm team are very excited. “We’ve been meeting with community members and exploring ways that 21 Acres could help make local, pesticide-free food more affordable,” Tenhoff said. ”We’re trying this new harvest share program this year with the hopes that we’ll receive feedback from low-income families about what they like about the program and then be able to expand it in future years.”
This is a pilot project with between five and ten harvest shares available. In addition to receiving an abundant box of organic produce, participants will be able to take advantage of weekly cooking demonstrations to learn easy and tasty ways to prepare the food. They will also receive family-friendly recipes and fun tips to get children involved in the kitchen.
The harvest share will be available the first week of August and available for pickup in the Farm Market on six consecutive Wednesdays, from Aug. 6 through Sept. 10, from 6-8 p.m. Cooking demonstration classes will be at 7 p.m.
“21 Acres is a convenient location for picking up the harvest share as we’re right on the bus line and we also have plenty of parking and bike racks. We’re hoping families from Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville and Redmond will see this as an ideal way to get the very best food for their families,” says Tenhoff. “Our farmers, John, Pepe and Mary, are really looking forward to this program and will gladly welcome people to walk the farm and to learn more about how the food is grown.”