Thursday, March 2, 2017

Expanding GardenShare's work to help families afford healthy, locally grown food

Have you heard about the expansion of GardenShare’s Bonus Bucks program?  This program is a way for lower-income and working families to double their buying power at local farmers markets, or to receive a financial assistance for 50% of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share.

Our goal with the program is to reach families that may be struggling to put healthy food on the table while supporting local farmers.  Interestingly enough, the USDA is just starting research to determine if these kinds of subsidy programs can help improve nutrition for low-income families, and strengthen local economies by increasing farmers sales.  Read a synopsis of the planned study and early steps here.

Full details on GardenShare's program, including income eligibility guidelines, and an application can be found here.  Below is a quick summary:

Subsidized CSA Share - The customer chooses a CSA from the list of participating farms. Every farm works differently and offers different products and pricing, so it is important to research and call the farm to determine which one works best for a specific household. GardenShare can cover half the cost of the CSA share for eligible households, up to a max value of $250.  The customer pays the balance..

Double your money at the farmers market - For households that receive SNAP benefits, just take the SNAP card straight to the market manager to get double value. If you are not on SNAP, you can still double your purchasing power with our new punch card program.  If your household meets the income requirement, you can purchase up to 25 punch cards per year, meaning $250 dollars worth of farmers market coins will only cost you $125, each individual $10 punch card costs you $5 out of pocket and each card can be purchased in single quantity or in bulk. Punch cards are taken to the market manager in exchange for $2 tokens which can only be spent on food at the farmers

Funding for Bonus Bucks is generously supported through the Health Initiative in partnership with Alcoa and generous GardenShare donors.  If you would like to help support this program, go here to make a tax-deductible donation.

This program will be operating as long as funds are available

For more information reach us at 315-261-8054 or at