Fall is in the Air and Mid-Season Success!
The fall has begun which means many of our fall vegetables and greens have returned to City Green mobile markets! Our markets run through mid-November and while some of our partners have wrapped up their seasons already, most are open for a few more weeks! Be sure to continue to support them as you can enjoy so much delicious, local, fall produce.
The Garden State Good Food Network wrapped up our mid-season data collection which covered the first half of the market season, through the end of August. We are so excited to share that this has been our most successful start to a market season yet! Nearly doubling the number of partner farmers markets from 2020, as well as an increase in SNAP issuance and usage resulting from Pandemic-EBT and increased maximum household allotments due to COVID-19, all contributed to the network’s success. With the permanent increase in SNAP allotments recently announced by the USDA, even more families will have access to SNAP benefits and to the Garden State Good Food Network going forward.
In 2021, our network of partners has already served nearly 1,800 federal benefit (SNAP and WIC) recipients network-wide! Of those, over 500 were completely new to the program. These customers redeemed over $55,000 in federal benefits and Good Food Bucks, which helped to support our network of over 60 local farmers! We have expanded into 10 counties, with 32 markets in 22 cities across New Jersey. Check out our infographic with all the details of our season-so-far here. We are looking forward to a strong finish to the season!
Every season we ask for our partner retailers’ input and their dedication to their work comes across every time. Lauren Porter at Greenwood Ave Farmers’ Market in Trenton expressed that, “I feel like I’m doing purposeful work when I see customers leave our information tent happy because they have extra money to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. That definitely has to be my favorite aspect of my job; City Green makes it possible for so many people to take small steps in improving their health, and customers remind me of that each week.” And Max at Princeton Farmers Market observed, “The Good Food Buck program is a truly incredible program that helps combat food insecurities and match market funds for eligible low-income individuals and families. While the program grants an opportunity to help the nearby community, it also encourages shoppers to shop local and support our local farmer, making a great impact in not one, but two facets of our growing community.”
Ultimately, the Garden State Good Food Network would not be able to make any of this happen without our fantastic partner retailers all across New Jersey and we greatly appreciate their hard work. Huge shoutout to our partners, who are at their market every week matching SNAP dollars spent, organizing events for their community, and doing the vital work of connecting local farmers to consumers, ensuring that healthy, fresh, and local food is accessible to all!
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.