TheVoiceOfJoyce Sliding scale local produce farms offer a way for low income families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables yearly. There are 500 farms Nationally that produce fruits and vegetables for a subscription community. Subscribers purchase whatever is produced weekly, for a price they can afford, based on their economic situation. At Rock Steady Farms in upstate New York, members are asked to determine their ability to pay and Food Stamps ( Snap & EBT cards from the Federal Nutrition Program), are accepted. Next year, these programs will be expanded Nationwide with Federal Assistance. Farms allowing you to pay what you’re able, give people agency and the ability to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable prices. It’s a win win for small farms and their subscription community.

Sosa has no idea what her fellow members are electing to pay. “And that makes such a difference, to not feel like a charity,” she said.

At Rock Steady, the annual price for members, based on their income, is split into high ($1,155), middle ($825) and lower ($660) brackets. In the lower bracket, that comes out to about $30 (£25) a week, for about eight or nine items. The farm also accepts Snap and EBT cards, the federal nutrition program formerly known as food stamps. Most people are in the middle bracket, while higher-income contributors subsidize those on the lower end of the scale.

When joining the program, customers are asked to take an inventory of their situation, both material and social, to determine how much to pay: do you own a house? Do you have a college education? Do you have savings? Those who do are asked to pay a higher share. Those who have significant debt or are renting or are senior citizens are invited to pay a lower share.

Rock Steady Farm offers a sliding scale for members with different incomes. Photograph: Eva Detch

A 2017 study of nearly 500 CSA farm managers across the US found that 14% offered subsidized programs. A more recent study identified more than 100 subsidized CSA programs.

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