Grateful for Good Food!
This time of year is synonymous with good food. Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season have us thinking about family gatherings and delicious feasts.
However, in the face of job losses, health problems, and challenges of inequities, filling the table with a bounty of food for the holidays can be a challenge for many, and we are all keeping each other safe by limiting our gatherings this year. Despite these challenges, there are a few things we are feeling grateful for that can help us overcome those challenges! Here’s a list of 3 “Good Food Thank You’s” that we are giving this year.
We are thankful for:
- Affordable Local Food: Programs like Good Food Bucks are critical during this time of year. Together, by the end of August, our Garden State Good Food Network had made healthy, seasonal food more accessible for over 500 NJ SNAP shoppers, who purchased over $8,300 of farm-fresh food with their SNAP dollars and Good Food Bucks. Some Good Food Buck partner markets have even been able to double the value of WIC and Senior vouchers, making fresh food affordable for even more people. Our partners are still going strong through the month of November, and we can’t wait to share how many more people have been able to eat locally thanks to the Good Food Buck program.
- Local Support: People need good food now more than ever. The state of New Jersey has recognized this and has allocated an additional $44.8 million for approximately 253,000 New Jersey SNAP households for the month of November in response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic. Although the Good Food Buck program only reaches a portion of these NJ SNAP users, it has a big impact, and all SNAP users are eligible to double their dollars with Good Food Bucks. And when SNAP benefits start running low, Good Food Bucks can be used to stretch food dollars through the rest of the month.
- Community Strength: Farmers, communities, nonprofits, and individuals have banded together to make sure good food is available for everyone this year. For example, many Garden State Good Food Network partner markets and vendors arrange to donate excess produce to local food pantries, have served as free Summer Meal sites for kids, and help connect community members to food assistance programs. Further, markets and farmers across the state have created innovative systems to keep local farm businesses sustained and viable. And just as importantly, farmers markets have served as a staple community gathering place in 2020, allowing for a strong sense of community to persist during a time when people have needed to isolate as a safety precaution. We are so proud of everyone’s ability to adapt and come together to support each other through challenging times!
While gatherings might be limited, we can still enjoy and be grateful for the bounty of food available from our local farmers this time of year, and for the support of our communities. Many farmers markets are open through the month of November, and even through the winter, so make sure to check updates www.GoodFoodBucks.com to find out where you can double your SNAP for fresh local food during the colder months!
About the Grantee
City Green is a 501(c)3 urban farming and gardening organization, based in Clifton, New Jersey working to revitalize New Jersey communities through agriculture, educational programming, and food access initiatives.