True Life: There Is Such a Thing as a Weekly $12 Box of Greenmarket Ingredients

Fresh Food Box is a food access initiative from GrowNYC that provides a weekly bag of produce to all participants.

fresh food box

A sample $12 Fresh Food Box including organic corn, cherry tomatoes, kale, leeks, apples, potatoes and spinach (maple syrup was an optional add-on). Photo credit: Facebook/GrowNYC

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A no-strings-attached $12/week CSA  sounds too good to be true, but unlike unlimited data on AT&T, it exists without caveats.

Fresh Food Box is a food access initiative from GrowNYC, and the program provides a weekly bag of produce to all participants. Families are invited to sign up in advance and pick up their bags at appointed times at sites around the city. Memberships are re-upped on a weekly basis, meaning you can take time off without worrying about your crisper turning into fodder for photographic food waste critique.

The traditional CSA model involves a relationship between one farm and a member community, hence the up-front payments. Fresh Food Box is able to be flexible and inexpensive because its produce is sourced at wholesale prices from several mid-sized farms within a 350-mile radius of New York City. Now in its third year, Fresh Food Box has grown to host nineteen locations and is projected to reach 1,500 families this year.

An order includes a selection of seven to nine seasonal fruits and vegetables and can be paid for using cash, card or food stamps. Interested in joining? Check out their website to find a pickup location near you. Want to suggest a dropoff in your neighborhood? There’s a form for that as well.

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Claire Brown

Claire is the Associate Digital Editor at Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. When she's not writing about food, she can often be found leading tours at the Union Square Greenmarket.