Farm Fresh Rhode Island wrote -
Farm Fresh Rhode Island is a 501c3 non-profit, founded in 2004. We're a small organization with a big mission—growing a local food system that values the environment, health and quality of life for the farmers and eaters of Rhode Island.
With that mission in mind, Farm Fresh seeks to preserve Rhode Island farmland, build healthier communities, strengthen community-based businesses in Rhode Island, increase access to fresh food, and improve the impact of food production and distribution on the environment.
Part incubator, part activator, we have a wide array of access, education, and distribution programs. For example:
Farmers Markets. We operate 8 summer farmers markets and 2 wintertime market in neighborhoods across our state, and facilities SNAP/EBT acceptance at 8 more. We believe that every Rhode Island family should be able to take part in the fresh bounty produced by our local farmers. And we believe that our farmers are the key to vibrant cities and to vibrant countryside. Our markets connect rural and urban communities, and strengthen the environment, health and quality of life of local farmers and eaters.
Harvest Kitchen. Provides food-industry job training & employment for youth ages 16-20 from DCYF’s Juvenile Justice Corrections Services. Youth visit local farms, learn at our kitchen in Pawtucket, RI, and sell their handmade products at farmers markets. Youth transform the local harvest, and the local harvest transforms them.
Healthy Foods, Healthy Families. Empowers low-income families with tools to shop for and cook affordable fresh foods through a series of hands-on activities, offered in English and Spanish, at area farmers market. Parents come with their children to the market where we offer free samples, games, recipes, financial incentives, and giveaways.
Bonus Bucks. Helps low-income Rhode Islanders afford to choose high-quality fresh foods by providing a 40% boost in produce-buying power at local farmers markets. The program leverages federal SNAP dollars to invest in the local economy and works to address disparities in fresh food access in Rhode Island.
Market Mobile. Facilitates buying relationships between RI producers and business buyers and institutions. Since 2009, Market Mobile has helped family farmers and small producers sell over $7 million in local food. That’s more freshness and traceability throughout menus and produce isles across Southern New England—and a big return to farmers, producers and our agricultural economy.
Veggie Box. A weekly or biweekly subscription to local produce from RI and MA farms delivered to dozens of locations around the state. Each box contains 7-9 different types of seasonal produce. Along with the box, participants receive an email newsletter packed with inspiring recipes and information.
Farm to School. Getting more fresh, locally grown foods into more RI schools cafeterias and empowering youth to think critically about the food they eat, to learn about nearby farms and food production, and to taste for themselves that healthy, fresh foods can be super delicious. We’re in regular contact with farms and food staff to communicate what's in season, and we assist school food buyers in buying from local farmers.
Healthy Servings for Seniors. Provides nutrition education classes for low-income senior citizens in Rhode Island that build on the Seniors Farmers Market coupon program. The program offers hands-on opportunities and incentives to buy fresh, healthy food, working in partnership with URI SNAP Ed in communities across Rhode Island.
For more info about our programs, please visit www.farmfreshri.org.