Brown Market Shares Program - Leah Douglas, Brown University
Douglas’ program provides weekly shares of local, sustainable, delicious produce, bread, and dairy to Brown University staff, faculty, and students. This program originated as a means of addressing the problem that students and staff at Brown have limited access to local food from the bountiful agricultural region of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The program includes low-cost shares for Brown staff and graduate students who cannot afford the full cost of a share. The subsidized shares attempt to create more food justice by reducing the cost of healthy food for low-income individuals and families. Participants in the program purchase a season's worth of food several months before the start of the season, following the model of a Community Supported Agriculture program. Then they communicate with many local farms to provide a varied share of produce and a loaf of bread from small farms within a 20-mile radius. Each week, shareholders come and pack their own share at our community pick-up, which is staffed by our coordinating team and many student volunteers. As a result, the program diverted over $150,000 from industrial agriculture and into the local food economy.