CSA program provides fresh, local produce; sign up to benefit self, others

MILFORD – Delaware’s summer growing season is almost here, and it’s time to sign up for the Community Support Agriculture (CSA) through the Food Bank of Delaware.

Though CSA is a relatively new concept, most people are aware that it’s an opportunity to buy shares of local produce that are boxed, and then picked up weekly throughout the growing season.

Starting in mid-June, participants in the Food Bank’s CSA will be able to pick up at a location close to their home: the Food Bank’s Newark warehouse (sponsor shares only), Wilmington Farmers’ Market at Cool Springs Park, Downtown Dover Farmers’ Market or the Food Bank’s Milford Branch.

The cost for a full share is $500 (with $100 tax deductible) or $250 for a half share ($50 tax deductible), and payment options are available by visiting www.fbd.org/program/csa. The program can also be pro-rated for those who sign up later in the season.

Contents for the Food Bank’s CSA program come from the historic Laurel Farmers’ Auction Market. Calvin Musser, manager, said the season starts in June with squash, cucumbers and peppers, with corn arriving in late June.

The CSA boxes also include fresh leafy vegetables, herbs, tomatoes, fruit and root vegetables as they are grown locally. Each full share is enough to feed a family of four for a week.

Barbara Brkovich, the Food Bank’s CSA Program Coordinator, describes this program as a “win, win, win” for everyone: local farmers, the shareholders and the community members. The Food Bank modified the conventional CSA model to assist families in need, allowing them to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables from their local farmers’ markets.

Each Sponsor share allows the Food Bank of Delaware to subsidize 2.5 shares for families in need.

For families with limited incomes, half shares are available for $5/week, while full shares are $10 (a deposit is required to hold your spot). Shares can be paid using an EBT card or cash. Pick up is available weekly at the Wilmington Farmers’ Market at Cool Springs Park, the Downtown Dover Farmers’ Market or the Food Bank’s Milford Branch. Families also receive tokens to use at market vendors at the two farmers’ markets.

To learn more, please visit www.fbd.org/program/csa/ or contact Barb Brkovich at, (302) 292-1305 ext 204 or bbrkovich@fbd.org.

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