November 29, 2016
November 29 #GivingTuesday is the national day of giving. Farm Fresh RI has been chosen among 20 nonprofits for a special matching challenge! That means any gift up to $10,000 made here before midnight 11/29 will be MATCHED dollar for dollar by Newman's Own Foundation!
Farm Fresh Rhode Island began in 2004 as a student thesis project at Brown University. We have grown briskly, capturing the public interest in locally grown food and translating it into sales for Southern New England farmers, fishers, and food producers.
Strongly mission driven, Farm Fresh RI achieved non-profit status in 2007, and has since implemented a variety of programs to enhance the local food system of our region—with particular attention to farm viability and low-income access to fresh food.
We operate a wide range of education and market-building programs (retail, wholesale, processing) that engage and connect tens of thousands of RI, MA, and CT eaters with thousands of RI, MA, and CT farmers.
Take a look at a few of our recent successes:
- To date, local farmers, fishers and value-added food producers have sold over $11.8 million in local food through Farm Fresh RI's MARKET MOBILE system, which is a national model for alternative wholesale food distribution.
- Located in low-income neighborhoods, Farm Fresh Rhode Island FARMERS MARKETS focus on increasing access to fresh, local food and nutrition education. We manage 8 summertime markets, the Woonsocket year-round farmers market, and the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market, the largest indoor farmers market in New England!
- HARVEST KITCHEN is a job training program for youth ages 16-20 from the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF)’s Juvenile Corrections Services or those aging out of foster care. The youth create high-quality preserved foods using ingredients from local farms, and sell their goods at farmers markets and to wholesale customers. The Harvest Kitchen posts remarkable results for youth, with a program completion rate of 75%.
- RHODE ISLAND FARM TO SCHOOL encourages schools to look to our state first when sourcing fresh food. Education programs empower youth to think critically about the foods they eat. The recently released USDA Farm to School Census shows that Rhode Island is #1 in the nation in school district engagement in Farm to School activities!
- VEGGIE BOX offers ongoing subscriptions of local foods delivered to workplaces and convenient public pickup sites. The program helps participants gain greater access to local food and provides farms with consistent demand for produce year-round. In 2015, Farm Fresh RI delivered 13,495 boxes to 1177 people at over 80 sites like hospitals, government offices, schools, community centers, and businesses.
- In 2015, over $75,629 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were spent at Farm Fresh Rhode Island farmers markets. With support from many funders, the BONUS BUCKS program supplements SNAP users' benefits by providing an extra 40% or more in tokens at farmers markets for fruit and vegetable purchases — amounting to an additional $32,820 spent in 2015.
- In 2015, Farm Fresh RI’s FARM TO SENIOR program visited 13 Rhode Island senior centers to engage 191 seniors in hands-on activities that increase knowledge and consumption of nutritious local foods.
- HEALTHY FOODS, HEALTHY FAMILIES offers weekly bilingual, multicultural workshops and bonuses at summer farmers markets for families receiving SNAP or WIC federal benefits. In 2015, 350 low-income families built healthy habits together, empowered with the tools to make nutritious choices. 98% of participants increased their fruit & veggie consumption as a result and 78% reported increased familiarity with different produce.
- Annually, over 1,000,000 people use Farm Fresh Rhode Island's LOCAL FOOD GUIDE at farmfresh.org to find information about regional farms, local food and markets in RI, MA and CT.
We are a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our work is made possible by grants and by gifts from generous donors like you. We thank you for helping us make these important strides toward a more equitable and sustainable food system!