Last week was the last pickup for the Student Farm’s 2018 Fall CSA (Community Supportd Agriculure) share. Funded by the UMass Sustainability Initiative and Engagement Fund (SIEF) and with the help of Food For All Program Coordinator Kayleigh Boucher, the UMass Student Farm offered 25 free CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this past 2018 season for food insecure members of the UMass campus community.
SIEF is a Sustainable UMass initiative that was created to supply funding and support for student-led sustainability projects on campus. In the Spring of 2018, SIEF granted $8,500 to the Student Farm to cover the cost of 25 fall CSA shares to be offered for free. Applicants were accepted on a first-come first serve basis and made up 20% of the Student Farm’s 115 person 2018 CSA this season. The 25 free shares fed 25 families, or an estimated 75 people, for 10 weeks this fall.
The 25 available shares filled up in a matter of days after being advertised, and 25 families is a drop in the bucket on a campus of over 30,000 people. At UMass, up to 23% of undergraduate students and 26% of graduate students cut or skipped a meal because they didn’t have enough money to buy food (Clark & Harris, 2015). These free shares were claimed by undergraduate and graduate students of all genders and from all departments. The Student Farm hopes to be able to secure funding for this initiative again for next season and to be able to offer more than 25 shares in the future.
Thanks so much to Sustainable UMass and the Sustainability Initiative and Engagement Fund (SIEF), the Student Farmers and Managers Jackie and Amanda, Food For All’s Sarah Berquist, and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture for enabling this initiative to happen!
Email the Student Farm at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about future free CSA shares and other food access initiatives.
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