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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Making fresh food available to all

April 23, 2013

On Monday, The Oregonian published a story about how Community Supported Agriculture farms (CSAs) are making it possible for everyone to have access to fresh, local produce.

In the past, CSAs have worked with members paying one larger lump sum at the beginning of the growing season, and in return they receive a weekly basket of farm-fresh produce from their local farmers. In the end, those CSA members would save significantly more money compared to buying at grocery stores. But the up front cost for seasonal membership was simply not affordable for many hardworking families.

But times are changing.

In her story, Oregonian reporter Kelly House features one of our partners, Zenger Farm, and the work they did to reconstruct payment plans so that CSAs would be able to accept food stamps as a method of payment. Zenger Farm is an urban farm that models, promotes and educates sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship, community development, and access to good food for all.

Kelly writes that in the past, CSAs “have long been criticized as a savings open only to those with ample disposable income.” Because of the work of Zenger Farm and other local farmers in Oregon, it’s becoming possible that anyone, no matter the financial means of paying for the produce, can become members.

Nick strongly supports increasing access to fresh food for all Portlanders, and supports the local food movement - including Oregon’s Farm to School legislation and Zenger Farm’s Urban Grange.

Community farms cultivate payment plans

Kelly House in The Oregonian

photo courtesy of The Oregonian