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From our agencies to our neighbors, a request we hear repeatedly is for more fresh produce – and even more so now as inflation continues to strain the food network.

Recently, the Food Bank of South Jersey began an innovative partnership to bring farm-fresh produce to our neighbors. Through a community supported agriculture pilot, FBSJ invested in the growing season of Free Haven Farms, located in Lawnside and Pemberton.

By supporting the farm upfront, FBSJ not only has reliable produce to deliver directly to three of its agencies, but it also helps the local farm plan and have a reliable distribution source for the season.

“With this program, everything we grow has a home, and it changes the way we are farming now,” said Dr. Cynthia Hall, who runs Free Haven Farms with her husband Micaiah. “We know ahead of the season exactly what we need to produce. It’s been much more stable.”

Micaiah said the partnership has helped bring in more business, create jobs on the farm, and it’s also helped them think about how to make the pilot even better.

“People now are meeting the farmer who is growing their food,” Micaiah said. “We are collecting a lot of data so we can find ways to improve this and do it even better.

“Education is our strength. People are always willing to learn, so I think adding more of those programs will have a positive

During the 16-week pilot, 1,600 produce boxes will be distributed to neighbors in need throughout South Jersey.


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