Food Access Over the Summer and Seasonal Foods

July 7, 2017

By Laura Sahd RD, Community Nutritionist

Summer is the perfect season to soak up the sun, spend time with family, and get local, fresh produce for those summer night cookouts!

Summer is the main growing season for Delaware farmers.

Fruits and vegetables abundant during the summer months include: most berries, melons like cantaloupe and watermelon, corn, peaches, tomatoes, onions, leaf lettuce, squash, cucumbers, and the list continues.

Local produce can be purchased at grocery stores and farmers’ markets across the state. Some farmers’ markets accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-formerly known as food stamps) and FMNP-WIC coupons.

More information on both seasonal produce and farmer’s markets that accept SNAP and WIC benefits can be found on the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s website by clicking here. Click here for a list of seasonal produce and here for the Food Bank’s Farmers’ Markets Guide.

In addition to increased access to produce during the summer months, the Food Bank of Delaware along with partners across the state, offer summer meal assistance to families in need through various programs.

Free meals for children and teens are offered through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). To find a meal site near you, call 211, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE, visit www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks, or text the word “food” to 877-877 or “comida” to 877-877.

Also, SNAP benefits are available year-round and application assistance is provided by the Food Bank of Delaware’s SNAP outreach team. If you are interested in this service, call the Helpline at (302) 444-8073 to set up an appointment with one of the SNAP Outreach Coordinators at a location convenient for you!

In addition to SNAP enrollment services, the Food Bank of Delaware also offers WIC certification services at community access points throughout the state. Participants enroll, see a nutritionist, and receive WIC benefits on site. To learn more, please call (302) 292-1305 ext 267.

Finally, the Food Bank of Delaware offers meal assistance to Delaware seniors through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). This is a federal food program designed to improve the health of Delaware residents 60+ years of age. Free boxes of food are available each month to eligible seniors. Contact (302) 444-8129 to speak with the Senior Nutrition Coordinator for more information.

Visit the Food Bank of Delaware blog and Facebook page the first Friday of every month for a new Food Bank of Delaware Monthly Nutrition News post! Click here for more information on monthly themes and contact information for questions and comments on this new initiative.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax:
(202) 690-7442; or

(3) email:
program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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