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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See the entire press release about this here.