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Mon Mar 5, 2018, 01:01 PM

'Harvest Boxes': Grocers fear for business, patrons' health

Source: Associated Press

‘Harvest Boxes’: Grocers fear for business, patrons’ health

By KRISTEN de GROOT and GENE PUSKAR
1 hour ago

RANKIN, Pa. (AP) — Finding fresh food in this tiny riverside community that was hit hard by the steel industry’s decline has always been a challenge. Then, seven years ago, Carl’s Cafe opened.

The grocery store, near new government housing, offers cooking classes and a source of fresh, healthy food. Proprietor Carl Lewis even has customers sign a pledge: If he provides fresh produce, they’ll buy it. Five such purchases, and they get their sixth free.

About half his customers pay with benefits from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, so the government’s proposal to replace the debit card-type program with a pre-assembled box of shelf-stable goods delivered to recipients worries him and other grocery operators in poor areas about their patrons’ nutrition, and their own bottom line.

“If half of your business goes away, it’s going to hurt,” Lewis said, noting that if SNAP spending benefits are taken away, so will recipients’ ability to participate in programs at his store.

“I see kids educating parents on fresh food choices,” he said. “To see them reach for an apple before they reach for a Snickers bar, it’s fantastic. But if people are too worried about where their next meal is coming from, it’s going to be hard to teach them how to cook an eggplant.”

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Read more: https://apnews.com/d91aecf74f5d4486a54e4d486acae2e5/'Harvest-Boxes':-Grocers-fear-for-business,-patrons'-health

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Reply 'Harvest Boxes': Grocers fear for business, patrons' health (Original post)
Eugene Mar 2018 OP
Farmer-Rick Mar 2018 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:29 PM

1. I just signed up for a program to grow food for the hungry

I've kind of reduced the business side of farming since my kids have their own careers. But I still love farming. So I volunteered to provide the hungry with fresh organic vegetables and eggs. The program is called second harvest. They have a grant to feed the hungry. They will pick up and distribute the food. All I have to do is grow it and harvest it.

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