Distribution of the Grand Lake Farmers Market Bounty Boxes just reached the 200 box level this past Saturday. As mentioned previously, EBT cardholders are eligible for a 50% discount when they order online, but they do have to swipe their card when they pick up. Orders can be placed anytime after 3 pm on Saturdays. BTW: The base price has just increased to $30 but the boxes now include fruit in addition to veggies. This past week that included a basket of strawberries and a handful of very ripe organic apricots.
Perhaps the very best thing about this program is that AIM is also now donating 50 boxes every Saturday to Oakland nonprofits that are providing supplemental foods to families in need. One of the recipients includes Trybe, which is based in East Bay Oakland. Their Executive Director, Andrew Park, sent the following message in response to our inquiry about the impact of this program:
The Bounty Boxes from AIM have been a critical lifeline for families because there are very few food supports on weekends. Not only do residents in need such as seniors, families with young children, and COVID-positive households get a box of produce delivered on a Saturday, they are getting the freshest vegetables and fruits picked within the last 24 hours. The AIM Bounty Boxes are the best food item Trybe distributes, out of the 25,000 pounds (1,400 boxes) of food we distribute each week.
These 50 boxes lift up spirits, inspire healthy cooking, encourage families to try out new recipes and to feel good about what their children are consuming. Examples of meals made with the bounty boxes are pupusas (with the squash and potatoes), tacos (with avocados, lettuce, and white onion), rice infused with golden beets cooked with corn on cob in the rice cooker, kim chee and cabbage salad for fried fish, and just plain but tasty steamed vegetables that even the kids will eat.
In a June 17 email, in response to the murder of George Floyd and the worldwide protests that followed, the Agricultural Institute of Marin denounced police brutality and announced that their “Farmers Market Assistance” fundraising campaign would include specific benefits for Black farmers and prepared food producers. Those measures will include waiving booth fees for the first eight months for three new producers as well as mentorship provided by long-time vendors. Currently, they’ve raised just over $91,000 of their $150,000 goal. For more information and/or to make a donation, please click on THIS LINK.
If you’re continuing to shop at the market, please remember that masks are required and please take care to practice social distancing. If you’d like to volunteer to help keep the market safe and viable, please phone Agricultural Institute of Marin Volunteer Coordinator Will Finney at 415 472-6100.