AFFORDABLE FARM SHARES IN THE HILLTOWNS
The Hilltown Mobile Market opens signups for farm shares to fit any budget
Chesterfield, MA, May 3, 2021–
The Hilltown Mobile Market is back for a third season, with farm share signups now available for the season that will run for 12 weeks from July 22 – October 8, 2021.
“What makes the Hilltown Community Farm Share so much fun is that you get to pick what you like to eat from the veggie van” said Seva Water, Coordinator for the Hilltown Mobile Market. “We drive to farms all around the Hilltowns and gather what was just picked fresh from the field. You get to come to the closest market to pick it up.”
The Mobile Market makes four stops each week during the season: the Worthington Congregational Church from 2-3:30pm and the Cummington Kingman Tavern from 4:30-6pm every Thursday, and the Blandford Post Office from 2-3:30pm and the Huntington Town Green from 4:30-6pm every Friday.
The full season value of a share is $180 of fresh fruits and vegetables from a neighboring farm, or about $15 per week. A share allows customers to choose five items of fresh produce each week from over a dozen options on the veggie van that change with the seasons, such as lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers in the summer and potatoes, corn and winter squash in the fall. It is ideal for a single person, elder couple or small family. Larger families and those who like to preserve the summer bounty are welcome to sign up for multiple shares.
Those who register for a farm share can also take advantage of a sliding scale payment option to make the cost more affordable, thanks to funding from the Hilltown CDC and other donors. Customers can choose the low-income option at $5 per week, the moderate-income option at $10 per week, or the fair priced option at $15 per week. Those with more means may choose the Helping Hand option at $20 per week, which supports the market and pays for an additional low-income share for another family in the Hilltowns.
The market grew out of a pilot project funded by Healthy Hampshire in 2019 that was guided by the work of the Hilltown Food Council, a multi-stakeholder advisory group. The market is supported by customers, grants and generous donors and is an ongoing collaboration between Healthy Hampshire, Hilltown CDC, and the Hilltown Community Health Center.
“We have built a strong network of farmers and food access advocates in an area with limited options to purchase healthy and affordable local food” says Water. “The mobile market has become a popular venue for everyone to enjoy what our neighborhood farms have to offer, regardless of income or other life factors.” During the pandemic, the Hilltown Mobile Market was able to participate in a limited expansion of farm vendors licensed to process HIP – the state’s Healthy Incentives Program, thanks to major advocacy from our representatives and food access organizers. This year, customers using SNAP can be reimbursed $40, $60, or $80 a month depending on household size when they purchase fresh produce from the Hilltown Mobile Market.
Limited shares are available, so those who would like to sign up should do so quickly. More details about the Hilltown Mobile Market, including how to sign up for a share, can be found at hilltownmobilemarket.info.