Foodlink and Partnership for a Healthier America announced on Thursday a collaboration with the COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund.
Rochester residents economically affected by the pandemic will be able to access fresh and local produce through curbside markets.
“It’s unreal what the impact of that is on people’s ability to access food or people’s ability to feed their families,” said Mitch Gruber, Foodlink's chief strategy officer and a Rochester City Council member.
The program launched in August and will continue each week into December. Foodlink curbside markets had closed for about three months as the coronavirus spread.
Gruber said they’ve since redesigned it so that people can collect 10-pound boxes of fruits and vegetables for $10. Those who use SNAP benefits will receive matching SNAP funds for the cost of each box.
“Whether it’s access to food and to healthy food, we need to start to change the way that we design these programs. Instead of asking people to come to us, how do we come to them?” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello.
Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy estimates that 8 million people in the U.S. have fallen into poverty since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.