Press Releases

Below please find published press releases and statements:

Growing Local Collaborative Increases Food Deliveries and Resources in NOLA Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Marianne Cufone, media@recirculatingfarms.org, 504-515-0161, Laurenmarie Reyes lauren@topboxfoods.com, 504-302-3702; Margee Green margee@sproutnola.org 985-373-6188; Elisa Munoz, elisa@nolafoodpolicy.org 504-383-3364

New Orleans, LA (March 24, 2020) – Today, the various organizations that make up the Growing Local Collaborative - Recirculating Farms Coalition, Top Box Foods Louisiana, SPROUT NOLA, New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee, and Liberty’s Kitchen - in partnership with Market Umbrella and the Crescent City Farmers Market, are ramping up efforts to keep New Orleans residents fed and healthy by organizing food distribution from farms to families and mapping important resources. 

Connor DeLoach, Executive Director of Top Box Louisiana said, “It is even more important for people to have access to fresh food right now, as we all try to be healthy. That’s why we are working with our Growing Local Collaborative partners and Crescent City Farmers Market to bring fresh local food from Louisiana farms right to people’s homes.”

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, farmers markets closed to reduce potential for social contact, but people still want fresh local food. Crescent City Farmers Market and SPROUT NOLA worked together to get their growers online - posting profiles about farmers on websites and selling products that normally would be at the markets through a box delivery program with Top Box Foods Louisiana. All the staging and packing is happening at Liberty’s Kitchen, which is currently suspending its other programs.

“Supporting our farmers is critical, so they are able to continue working and providing fresh food for us all,” said Margee Green, Executive Director of SPROUT NOLA and organizer of the Monday ReFresh Farmers Market. “We are making sure fresh food doesn’t go to waste, and it gets to people who want it, through RFC’s Growing Local box and the new Crescent City Farmers Market box.”

The Recirculating Farms Coalition runs Growing Local NOLA farms. Top Box has been delivering Local Garden Boxes for RFC for years, in neighborhoods with less access to fresh food, like Central City. The Growing Local boxes offers fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs and a fun “lagniappe” item for smaller families for $15. The new Crescent City Farmers Market Box is $40 and offers bigger portions. This box is comprised of goods from CCFM vendors and qualifies for their Market Match program. Both boxes accept SNAP.

“Emergencies, like this pandemic, illustrate why having a stable local food system is critical,” said Marianne Cufone, Executive Director for Recirculating Farms Coalition. “We are able to mobilize partners to offer fresh local food for a range of budgets and needs. We started our box to provide food in neighborhoods with low or no access to fresh, healthy options. Now, working with the CCFM farmers, we are expanding what we can offer – we doubled the number of boxes available this week!”

In addition to the boxes, the Collaborative is collecting information about other food resources in the city; NOLA FPAC is taking the lead. Their website lists assorted programs and has a map where children who usually have meals in schools can get grab and go food.

Elisa Munoz, Executive Director of NOLA FPAC said, “Food is a key part of who we are in New Orleans, and knowing where to access food can help us feel healthier and safer, both of which we need now. We want to offer a wide range of resources for our community.”

The American Heart Association of Greater New Orleans and The Humana Foundation are supporting these programs with grants to scale up operations and pay farmers for food.

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About Recirculating Farms Coalition: Visit: Facebook, Twitter (@RecircFarms) and Instagram (@growinglocalnola). Learn more here:  http://www.recirculatingfarms.org/

About Top Box Foods Louisiana: Visit: Facebook and Instagram (@topboxlouisiana) for updates. Learn more here: https://www.topboxfoods.com/new-orleans/home

About SPROUT NOLA: Visit: Facebook, Twitter, (@SPROUTNOLA), and Instagram (@sproutnola) and learn more here: https://www.sproutnolafarm.org/

About New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee: Visit: Facebook, Twitter (@NolaFoodPolicy) and Instagram (@nolafoodpolicy) and learn more here: http://www.nolafoodpolicy.org/

About Liberty’s Kitchen: Visit: Facebook, Twitter (@libertysitchen) and Instagram (@libertyskitchen) and learn more here: http://www.libertyskitchen.org/

About Market Umbrella and Crescent City Farmers Market: Visit: Facebook, Twitter (@ccfmtweets) and Instagram (@crescentcityfarmersmkt) and learn more here: https://www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org/

Click here to access press release document.

Other Releases and Statements

May 9, 2019 — Broad Coalition Applauds New Bill Banning Industrial Ocean Fish Farms — National

January 8, 2019 — Groups Celebrate Support for Urban and Innovative Agriculture in New Farm Bill — National

September 26, 2018 — Court Stops Industrial Fish Farms in the Gulf of Mexico — National

February 16, 2016 — Fishing and Public Interest Groups Sue Feds On New Rules Allowing Industrial Offshore Aquaculture — National

January 13, 2016 — National and Local Groups Oppose Industrial Fish Farming Regulations — National

November 20, 2015 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Denounces FDA Approval of Genetically Modified Salmon for Human Consumption – National

October 6, 2015 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Celebrates National Farm-to-School Month! – Louisiana

September 2, 2015 – USDA Appoints Recirculating Farms Coalition Executive Director to Special Task Force – National

August 29, 2015 – Volunteers Do Community Service With Recirculating Farms Coalition In Commemoration of 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina – Louisiana

May 15, 2015 – Proposed Farm to School Laws Continue Move Forward in Louisiana – Louisiana

May 1, 2015 – Farm to School Law Moves Forward in Louisiana – Louisiana

April 22, 2015 – For Earth Day, Innovative Farming Group Announces Series of Free “Sustainable Farming” Classes — National

April 1, 2015 – Gulf Fisheries Plan for Menhaden Fails to Address Critical Issues – Gulf of Mexico

February 2, 2015 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Awarded Grant to Train and Mentor New and Beginning Farmers; USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden Makes Announcement in New Orleans – National

February 5, 2014 – Statement of Executive Director, Marianne Cufone, on Congress Passage of the 2014 Farm Bill – National

November 6, 2013 – City of New Orleans Celebrates Groundbreaking of Innovative Urban Farm – Growing local NOLA – National

October 29, 2013 – Statement of Executive Director Marianne Cufone, Recirculating Farms Coalition on 9th Circuit Appellate Decision – National

August 13, 2013 – Backyard Gardeners Network, Recirculating Farms Coalition Host Community Day In Lower 9th Ward – Louisiana

February 8, 2013 – Open Ocean Aquaculture Would Harm the Gulf of Mexico: Statement by Marianne Cufone – National

October 22, 2012 – Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Announces Partnership to Build Growing Local NOLA – National

September 24, 2012 – Unique Training Program Will Support New and Beginning Urban Farmers National

August 23, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Coalition, New Orleans Food & Farm Network to Build Innovative Urban Food and Farm Center – National

August 8, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Help Florida Families Eat Healthy During Tough Economy – Florida

July 16, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Urges Congress to Improve Farm Bill – National

June 1, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Help New Orleans Eat Local – Louisiana

April 20, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Creates First Interactive Map Of U.S. Commercial Water Farms – Helps Consumers Find Fresh Local Food To Celebrate Earth Day – National

February 9, 2012 – AMPS Builds New Orleans’ 1st “Aeroponic” Recirculating Farm, Demonstrates Sustainable Urban Agriculture – National 

October 3, 2011 – New Orleans “Worst food desert in U.S.” and “Best City in America for Foodies” – Louisiana

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – National 

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – California

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – Louisiana

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – New York

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – Texas

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – Wisconsin