Our mission includes providing access to fresh, local food. The Farmers’ Market is one source, and we have programs to ensure access to good, local produce for Belmont residents and others.
Matching SNAP dollars The Collaborative matches shopper SNAP dollars up to $25 each Market day. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp program). The table shows the total amount that shoppers spent (their amount plus our match).
Shoppers have told us how important that extra $25 is. Each week, it lets them put fresh, local produce on their tables. The matching funds come from our operating budget.
WIC and Senior FMNP coupons Take your WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Senior FMNP (Farmers’ Market Nutritional Program) coupons to our vendors for any appropriate products. They will match the amount on the coupon, letting you spend twice the face value. We reimburse them for the match as part of our food assistance program. Ask vendors or our Market Manager for details.
Community growing We grow vegetables for the Belmont Food Pantry each summer. We started in someone’s front yard (2012), added raised beds at Belmont’s Beth El Temple Center (2013), at Belmont High School (2014), and at Rock Meadow (2015). Learn more and volunteer to help. In 2016, we donated 235 pounds of produce to the Pantry from the Temple and Rock Meadow gardens.
Boston Area Gleaners Volunteers glean fields after farmers finish their harvesting, which saves good produce from being plowed under. We defray the cost of deliveries by Boston Area Gleaners (BAG) with donations of $5 per 30 lb. box of produce delivered; that added up to $1,413 in 2015. They also collect unharvested food from local farms and work with other farmers’ markets, shelters, farms and other organizations in Eastern Massachusetts.
2010: 9,401 lbs
2011: 5,868 lbs
2012: 6,805 lbs
2013: 5,810 lbs
2014: 10,100 lbs
2015: 15,810 lbs
2016: 7,615 lbs
Food For Free At the end of each Market day, vendors can donate unsold produce and baked goods to Food for Free. Our financial support facilitates the transportation and donation of this food.
Their volunteers collect the food and take it to local food pantries, meal programs and shelters in the greater Boston area. The numbers went down in 2016, probably due to the drought and the lack of stone fruit (peaches, plums, etc) because of weird weather in the winter.
Belmont Food Pantry donations Shoppers bring non-perishable items to the Belmont Farmers’ Market. We also buy eggs to donate to the Food Pantry, and in 2016 we donated 120 half-dozen cartons of eggs.
Financial donations BFC makes occasional donations to the Pantry to help them in their work to get food to people who need it.
We’re pleased to help people in Belmont and the greater Boston community. This food assistance is an important part of the overall mission of the Collaborative. Can you help? Your donations help us with programs like these.