Harlem Farmshare Program: Accessible to Low-income Communities on a Large Scale

The folks behind Harlem-based Corbin Hill Farm don’t see sustainably grown local produce as a passing craze for the foodie elite; on the contrary, they’re figuring out a way to make it accessible to low-income communities on a large scale.

But a traditional community-supported agriculture (CSA) design — in which members essentially invest in a local farm by paying a large share at the beginning of the season — wouldn’t work for neighborhoods where many residents live on food stamps and struggle to make rent on time. So the model was tweaked to make sense for low-income consumers: Corbin Hill shareholders pay only a week in advance, can put their shares on hold at any time, and can use any form of payment — including food stamps. The program caters to neighborhood cultural tastes by including items like cilantro, tomatillos, and collard greens whenever possible, and every box comes with recipes written in both Spanish and English.

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