Just Food partners with farmers to help combat food insecurity in NYC, lower cost of produce

Crystal Cranmore Image
Thursday, November 16, 2023
Just Food partners with farmers to fight food insecurity
"We absolutely love what we do," said Farmer Ted Blomgren. Crystal Cranmore reports.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A farmer partnering with an organization in the city is helping to lower the cost of his fresh-grown produce and combat food insecurity.

Farmer Ted Blomgren works 14-hour days getting fresh fruits and vegetables to communities in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

"It is a long day," he said. "Yeah, we absolutely love what we do."

He's partnered with the organization Just Food.

It helps neighborhoods partner with local farmers through a community-supported agriculture program or CSA.

Through a CSA, people can enjoy produce from June to October by paying an upfront fee before the season begins.

It's an efficient way to do business for Blomgren.

"We know just how many people were farming. So, we waste nothing, we never bring anything home," Blomgren said.

It's one way to help drive out food insecurity.

At the West Harlem CSA, one of 120 across the city, there is a tiered pricing structure.

"People with greater financial means might pay more for their share. And people with lesser means might pay less. It's a really super system by which our neighbors are helping neighbor," Blomgren said.

"Any unclaimed shares from members who've paid for their food, but then don't show up for whatever reason to pick it up, that all gets donated to the soup kitchen downstairs," said Bruce Pross, West Harlem CSA.

It's casting the net even wider for those who can't afford it at all.

Among the five boroughs, food insecurity is most prevalent in the Bronx.

More than 40% of households say they don't have enough healthy options.

"Some of the folks in my neighborhood if they can, they will travel to a different neighborhood where there is access to buy this fresh food, but most community members where I live, can't afford the price of foods in order to feed a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods or whatever," Sheryll Durrant, Just Food.

That's why Durrant has made it her mission to expand the reach of CSAs all while teaching people the unlimited ways they can cook with fresh produce.

"We have been conditioned to accept the foods that we have in our neighborhood," Durrant said.

While the summer season ended this month, some CSAs offer a winter share through January.

ALSO READ | Flight forced to return to New York City's JFK Airport due to loose horse

A 747 cargo plane carrying a horse had to dump 20 tons of fuel and return to JFK after the horse escaped its crate inside the plane.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.