The staff team at Heart of the City is proud to report that we've successfully increased participation in our EBT program by 27% in 2013!
Though we've been a small farmer-operated non-profit since 1981, we received our first grant ever after pledging to increase the number of low-income residents who use their EBT benefits to purchase fresh local produce from farmers. The USDA granted us $94,000 to increase awareness that food stamps may be used to purchase healthy fresh food here in the Tenderloin and to open a new market day on Fridays for our low-income "food desert" that lacks a grocery store. Our community has an average life expectancy that is 20 years lower than surrounding communities due mainly to preventable diet-related diseases, shining a light on the fact that we live in a food desert that lacks affordable fresh food options and that poverty is one of the biggest hurdles to a healthy diet.
We achieved our goal through nutrition education outreach and promotion and generated an additional $46,000 in EBT revenue for our small farmers in 2013. To learn more about our project and efforts to support our community, view our final report here: Heart of the City Farmers Market FMPP 2012 Final Report.
We now accept over $250,000 each year in EBT purchases to get fresh, healthy, local produce into the hands of residents living in San Francisco's poorest community, making us one of the most impactful sources of fresh food in our food desert.
Happy New Year to all our friends and supporters! We are so grateful and proud to be a part of this neighborhood and wish you all a happy and healthy 2014.