Carteret Local Food Network is pleased to make the following announcements since our January update:
Our Veggie Van Mobile Market is off to a fantastic start this year. We've been busy adding locations and moving to have market days four days a week!
We have been invited to participate at several local farmers' markets including the Historic Morehead City Curb Market on Saturdays and the Western Carteret Mid-Week Market at the Market at Cedar Point on Tuesday evenings.
We are maintaining our approval as a SNAP/EBT retailer and have been given the opportunity by the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) to participate in the Fresh Bucks program. This program allows us to double the buying power of our SNAP/EBT users up to $20 per market day!
We are in the research phase of accepting WIC.
We are in discussions with Backpack Carteret to collaborate on ways that we can help incentivize children and their families to shop locally through our Veggie Van and help educate them on the value of eating healthy.
AND we have almost completed construction on our Food Hub!
Our new cold storage facility, the Food Hub, is pivotal to our Veggie Van program. This allows us to buy in bulk from our farmers, often at wholesale prices, to store greater quantities of in-season produce, maintain the appropriate cold chain, decrease food waste due to spoilage, and offer a central location for our farmers who do not have access to their own cold storage. Even better, we have a central place for our volunteers and supporters to gather for educational classes and demos, to pack our CSA bags, and meet to load up the Veggie Van for its route as well as store our supplies.
We have received some grant funding for the Food Hub build, but our greatest supporters are the individuals who support their local farmers either by buying from them directly or purchasing their produce through us.
We can't possibly thank you enough for your love and support during this time.
Thank you so much to everyone who donated in December for our GlobalGiving Accelerator campaign.
We wanted to keep you abreast of our plans moving into 2021 and what your donations have helped us achieve as of right now:
We have been able to get our Veggie Van wrapped and display our Carteret Local Food Network logo and social media sites to help make us easily identifiable at our Mobile Markets.
We have been able to move out of our small 10'x10' storage unit/office and can't wait to show you what our next move is here. I don't want to spoil the surprise but please know that it helps us with our mission as well as it will give back to the community and our local farmers.
We will be able to purchase additional equipment and software to faciliate demographic collection and streamline our Veggie Van sales at our Mobile Markets with a combination of your donated funds and the Unviversity of Buffalo's Veggie Van Mobile Market study.
We will begin instituting a Senior Mobile Market Loyalty Program to help increase food access and affordability to our senior population from a grant through the Veggie Van Mobile Market study and your support.
Your donations help offset the costs and fees associated with accepting SNAP/EBT for our lower income customers and we hope to be able to work with RAFI in the coming months to increase the purchasing power of SNAP/EBT via their Freshbucks program to put fresh produce into the hands of those who need it most.
Carteret Local Food Network couldn't do what we do without your support. We are truly humbled by your generousity and want you to know that we won't stop until everyone in our community has access to the freshest, most nutritious produce available.
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