Fresh Food Box
The Fresh Food Box program is a food access initiative that allows underserved communities to purchase affordable, fresh, healthy, locally-grown produce. Fresh Food Box removes one obstacle to healthy eating – the time it takes to shop and select an array of fresh fruits and vegetables. Customers place orders one week and the next week conveniently pick up boxes containing 8–10 seasonal items sourced from Greenmarket Co.’s network of local family farms. Clients enjoy the quality and variety of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share with the flexibility to purchase weekly rather than seasonally.
Operating July through November, GrowNYC distributes Fresh Food Boxes in collaboration with community partner organizations. In our second year, we went from 3 to 11 sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
Click HERE to learn more about Fresh Food Box.
Stories From Fresh Food Box:
There is one man in particular at BronxWorks that’s made a lasting impression. He’s lost about 100 pounds and says he is appreciating real food, in the raw, for the first time in his life. Every week he loves to put his bag together and smell each item. I know he doesn’t want to, because he says he struggles being able to afford a much healthier lifestyle, but he’ll get excited and give away peaches or tomatoes on the spot to people who seem hesitant and rave about how good they taste.
A woman named “SuperFrench” at the Halsey Fresh Food Box site comes every week. She cooks at a small restaurant around the corner and has sent multiple people to sign-up for the program. She loves to tell me how she’s going to prepare each vegetable. Every Saturday she proclaims, “the people here will love this!” about the variety and multitude of colorful fresh vegetables. She always buys two bags and somehow manages to carry them, along with her son, in a stroller.
The children’s interest in the fruits and vegetables at the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House is oftentimes a catalyst for their parents to get interested in the program. Every Wednesday the kids hover around our table to see what fruit they can scavenge or what Valerie, the volunteer, has cooked with produce from the food box that day. They love the colorful fruits and vegetables and make games of guessing the names of each one.