Support Michigan Farm to Family: CSA
We know that poverty limits access to healthy foods and being food secure is a predictor of better health. Our newest initiative, Michigan Farm to Family: CSA (MF2FCSA) was created to address food insecurity for Michigan families eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
MF2FCSA is an innovative healthy food incentive program based on a modified CSA model. This program is funded with a $500,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, with a requirement to raise $500,000 in match funds.
Our network of CSA farms continues to demonstrate their capacity to serve Michigan families. And the program has been able to provide CSA farms with a stable revenue source.
To continue this programming, we need your support.
Together, with funding from match partners like you, we will infuse over $1 million dollars into local economies, enabling us to provide healthy food to more families throughout the state, while supporting the livelihoods of local farmers.
Your match dollars will have a lasting impact on Michigan families.
To learn more about this program, please continue down this page for detailed information.
WHAT IS A CSA?
CSA is short for community supported agriculture. In a traditional CSA model, people join as CSA members by making a financial investment and buy a “share” of the farm’s production in advance of growing season. In return, they receive regular distributions (known as CSA shares) of the farm’s bounty throughout the season.
In the traditional Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model people subscribe and pay the farm in advance to receive weekly box of fresh produce. In the past, families facing stressful financial circumstances were unable to participate in traditional CSAs. The MF2FCSA program removes that barrier.
Michigan Farm to Family: CSA is a modified CSA model that makes it possible for families to purchase and consume more fresh fruits and vegetables and strengthen their local food systems using SNAP/EBT/Bridge Card as their form of payment.
Unlike a traditional CSA, our CSA program participants do not have to pay any costs up front, will pay a significantly reduced price, and are able to pay upon pick up, which makes this program ideal for people who are struggling with barriers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
With match funds to increase CSA members through this program, CSA participants will:
- Spend their food dollars in their community.
- Receive a typical weekly CSA share that is approximately 10 pounds (6-10) items of fresh, locally grown food.
- Pay when they pick up weekly shares instead of paying for membership upfront.
- Receive a 75% discount when they use their Bridge Card as the method of payment. For example, a $20 share of produce would cost just $5 (the program pays the balance to the farmer).
- Receive resources from Michigan Fitness Foundation SNAP-Ed partner nutrition educators to help them know how to prepare, cook, and store their weekly produce.
Michigan Fitness Foundation will:
- Recruit additional CSA farms and host sites.
- Assist local community host sites with administrative, technical and outreach support.
- Coordinate nutrition education and evaluation components of the project.
- Be a conduit to other local food systems initiatives in Michigan.
- Create a customer base for Michigan-grown food that supports local farmers and promotes Michigan agriculture.
- Continue to act as the fiduciary for the program managing grant funds, raising match funds.
- Manage communications and outreach for the program statewide.
CSA Farms will:
- Gain a new revenue stream outside of the mainstream commodity market that generates reliable income to help meet farm operating needs.
- Have an assured stream of revenue from grant underwriting.
- Provide more farm jobs in their community.
- Develop deeper community relationships.
Additionally, the program will:
- Contribute to local food systems by supporting farms to become more sustainable which preserves the working landscape, keeps taxes down, and benefits the environment.
- Open up CSA shares to people paying with their SNAP benefits, providing access to fresh, healthy food to people who otherwise would not have had the choice.
- Help put healthy food on the tables of Michigan families while maximizing services in the community that build health equity.
MF2FCSA is made possible through a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program. Along with MFF’s SNAP-Ed team and partner nutrition educators, Michigan CSA farmers, non-profit community organizations, and grant match funding partners.