Farm Fresh Produce with CalFresh

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In collaboration with Sacramento International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) New Roots Farm, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) provides weekly farm fresh produce to individuals and families who use CalFresh at a discounted rate.

New Roots Farm is a five-acre plot in West Sacramento and is farmed by resettled refugees.

“SFBFS chose to partner with New Roots Farm for several reasons. First off, they have a variety of produce that is familiar to the many different populations we serve. Secondly, SFBFS is further fulfilling its mission by empowering financial independence as the farm is divided into smaller plots cultivated by recently resettled refugees,” commented SFBFS’ Produce for All CSA Coordinator, Kelsey Maher.

With the help of a government grant, SFBFS is able to purchase the produce at market price, but offer a discounted rate to clients. Customers purchase about $20 worth of produce with $9 from the benefits on their CalFresh cards.

In addition to a diverse selection of produce, there is an educational component. Every week, the produce is accompanied by a newsletter listing the vegetables, an advice column about cooking or building a pantry and several recipes. Each week, there are seven to ten different kinds of fruits and vegetables included in the bag.

“We’ve noticed that some people are comfortable using kale in the kitchen, while others are more familiar with eggplant or daikon radish. We hope to create a space where people can more easily share their favorite recipes in the near future,” says Kelsey.

At this time, SFBFS distributes the produce bags at its two different campuses on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. -  4 p.m. If you are interested in purchasing a produce bag with your food stamps on your CalFresh card or looking for the latest news about the project, you can sign up for the next distribution at the Produce for All page.

If you have any questions or feedback about the produce bags, you can contact Kelsey Maher, kmaher@sacramentofoodbank.org.