Like many CSAs in NYC, we have a partnership with Just Food that helps us with liability insurance and other organizational challenges. We’re so grateful to them and asked Network Manager Qiana Mickie could answer a few questions for us. Thank you!
1. Tell us a little bit about Just Food. What is your mission and how do you help CSAs?
Just Food empowers and supports community leaders in their efforts to increase access to locally grown food, especially in underserved New York City neighborhoods. For 20 years, Just Food has provided training and technical assistance to community members to help them launch sustainable food models such as CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), community-run farmer’s markets, farm to food pantry, and also provide education to community members in urban agriculture and fundamental culinary skills. CSA is the cornerstone program of Just Food.
The Just Food CSA model enables city residents to have direct access to high quality, fresh and sustainably grown produce locally by regional farmers. Local for us means within 250 miles. A member purchases a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer in advance of the season and gets weekly or bi-weekly delivery, from June until November (about 22 weeks), from a farmer who will deliver that share of produce to a convenient drop-off location in your neighborhood. Members also contribute volunteer hours to run the CSA on the community side. This inherently builds community engagement, fosters a direct relationship with the farmer (no middleman), and helps keep costs down.
2. How many CSAs do you support? And how many people does that translate to, roughly?
Today Just Food’s network of 109 CSAs provides fresh fruits and vegetables to more than 44,000 New Yorkers of all income levels, while ensuring that local farms thrive.
3. What’s most important to Just Food right now? Why?
Just Food is about nurturing leadership, fostering community self-reliance, and creating a more equitable city. We focus our efforts on supporting community leaders as they develop their own solutions to ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to fresh, locally-grown food.
For more information on Just Food, you can read their annual report here. (It’s actually more fun than it sounds, I promise!)
Join Just Food at a gala benefit on October 5th and help even more New Yorkers get access to local food from real farmers. A representative will be at our pickup on Thursday, October 1st, so bring your questions and your ideas and passion for local food and learn more about getting good food to more people.