There are lots of theories on why people in our community are obese or suffering from “curable” diseases like diabetes but the one that gets ignored is access. More than 2.5 million Americans live in “food deserts” and have little to no access to supermarkets that serve fresh fruit (not that crap in plastic wrap) and lean cuts of meats. When they do have access, income is a determinant on if they buy. This is a huge issue that needs to be addressed, and last week the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project did just that.

The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project announced it will be providing families that sign up a 10-pound fresh farm produce box for just $10.

The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project’s Farm Fresh Box costs $10 a month, without a monthly commitment. View Full Caption

Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project

FORT GREENE — Get farm-fresh greens without spending green by signing up for the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project’s new Farm Fresh Box program.

The 10- to 15-pound boxes of produce cost just $10 and include a number of seasonal, locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

Unlike CSA, or “Community Supported Agriculture” programs, the Farm Fresh Box doesn’t require a seasonal commitment, which can run upwards of $450 per season.
“The attractive thing about this is that it’s not a CSA, which requires a season-long commitment, which we found is a barrier to a lot of people who don’t have a huge amount of disposable income to spend on food,” said Meredith Phillips Almeida, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, at a Community Board 2 meeting.

All local residents can sign up for a box then pick it up at a monthly distribution, which takes place at Fort Greene SNAP, at 324 Myrtle Avenue. Residents can pay on site with cash, credit card or EBT.

The boxes include five to six different items that range from certified organic to conventionally grown.

Last month’s inaugural winter share came with apples, carrots, a head of cabbage, a large sweet potato, turnips and dried beans.

The boxes can feed a family of four for the month, but residents can order more than one box if they have a larger family, according to program organizers.

The produce comes from the Corbin Hill Food Project, which works with farmers from upstate to deliver fresh, locally-grown produce to communities that may not have easy access to it.

“We’re trying to elevate our community’s food access needs,” Phillips Almeida said. “We often don’t see that there’s a large portion of our community who are food insecure, who don’t have access to quality fresh affordable produce.”

The program’s organizers are looking to add a second monthly distribution site by early summer.

The deadline to sign up for this month’s box is March 16. Pickup will be between 4 and 7 p.m. on March 22 at Fort Greene SNAP.

To sign up, contact Shaquana Boykin at Shaquana@myrtleavenue.org or 718-230-1689 ext. 5.

So much win in one press release. Often times when you join a co-op there is a monthly commitment that you might not be able to meet every time, so having the option to be month to month is great.  This is one of the first steps to granting access to a healthier lifestyle and healthy choices. I am excited for all that are able to sign up!

Brooklyn, Do The Right Thing and call Ms. Boykins now and sign up! Let me know how it works out for you!!!