CSA fruits, vegetables help working mom stretch budget

August 1, 2022

Sticking to a budget is tough in today’s economy  – even for folks working full-time. Just ask Lisa! This Milford mom is grateful to have a job she enjoys, reliable transportation, and a home. It’s challenging, though, to buy healthy food for two teens when she has a limit of $300 for food every two weeks. That’s why Lisa says she responded to an email from the Food Bank of Delaware describing our Summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

She registered online to receive a free weekly box that contains fresh fruits and vegetables, mainly those grown on the Food Bank’s five-acre farm in Newark (tomatoes growing in the high tunnel are pictured to the right!).

This 22-week program, explained Community Farm Coordinator John O’Connor, is grant funded. “It’s a first-come, first-serve basis… Participants pick up from both the Milford and Newark facilities and they [boxes] are also delivered through Amazon,” he said.

“Oh my gosh,” said Lisa. “We love it.” She said her teens, age 16 and 17, are active, and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, and the opportunity to try new foods.

Take kale, for example. “My son and I mixed it in with the other lettuce to make a salad. He loved it after his [sports] practice,” she said. “It gives the salad a nice crunch. And my daughter, I think she ate all the carrots.”

Nothing goes to waste in this home. “I assure you we eat all the fruits and vegetables, ones we couldn’t buy. And the peaches – they’re delicious, and they make a nice snack. The boxes have been pretty full too.”

Lisa expressed her appreciation for the weekly CSA box. “Before this, I had to wait for some fruit to go on sale. Sometimes the fruits and vegetables in the store aren’t as fresh as they could be. I went to the farmers’ market once, but I can’t afford it. Families may make more, but everything costs more. There’s no money to do anything extra. This program is awesome.”

While this mom doesn’t complain about the challenges, she notes that she sometimes feels frustrated. “The economy makes it hard to eat healthy. It’s a struggle to feed a family of three on $300 a month, so this is a great program.”

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