By Natalie Hughes, Program Assistant, VINES
Binghamton Farm Share was launched in 2013 by VINES, Healthy Lifestyles Coalition, and United Way of Broome County to address needs surrounding food insecurity in Binghamton neighborhoods identified by the USDA as food deserts.
Binghamton Farm Share partners with local farmers and several community organizations to provide and distribute fresh produce in Binghamton neighborhoods. Participants make a season-long agreement with one of our partnering local farmers, who provide a box of assorted fresh vegetables each week. This year’s partnering farms include Early Morning
Farm, North Windsor Berries, Hemlock Creek CSA, and VINES’ Binghamton Urban Farm. Customers pick-up their share at the same time and place each week. Farm Share offers flexible payment plans. Residents of the City of Binghamton (limited funding for non-Binghamton residents available) who receive SNAP benefits, WIC, or who meet income eligibility guidelines may qualify for a 50% discount on share prices. This discount is supported by grant funding and donations, ensuring that farmers are still paid in full. Interested participants who are not eligible for the discount are still encouraged to participate, as a diverse customer base helps support the program.
Binghamton Farm Share seeks to strengthen the local community food system by connecting local farmers to a new market of consumers interested in getting fresh produce. Through the program, farmers are able to reach an audience that has historically been excluded from CSAs due to the challenge of making a large up-front payment and other issues surrounding SNAP benefit regulations. VINES staff manages distribution, data tracking, and process payments so that farmers do not assume the additional work required to make the program successful.
Some share options are already sold out, but shares are still available from Early Morning Farm and North Windsor Berries at several pick-up sites. The first date for pick-up is July 20th, but pro-rated shares will be offered for those interested in a later start date as long as shares are available. Interested in signing-up for a share, becoming a corporate sponsor, volunteering, or learning more? Please visit our website www.vinesgardens.org/farmshare, call us at 607-238-3522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.