Feeding Florida, the state’s premier network of food banks, is on a mission to eliminate hunger and its underlying causes across communities. Uniting 9 food banks, the network ensures a healthy, adequate, and consistent food supply is accessible to everyone. Recently, Dominique Pelissier, Program Assistant at the Delray Beach CRA, attended Feeding Florida’s Fresh Access Bucks Annual Training. Here, he offers insights into the invaluable experiences he gained and how the training stands to benefit the CRA funded Delray Beach GreenMarket.
Feeding Florida aims to go beyond mere food distribution to address the root causes of hunger through policy advocacy and program implementation. The organization is part of the Feeding America network and maintains rigorous accountability standards to provide a reliable, efficient, and transparent food supply chain.
The USDA-funded Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) program seeks to increase the purchasing power of SNAP recipients. This program encourages the buying of fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, produce stands, and other community food outlets. By encompassing the entire food supply chain from producer to consumer, FAB aims to build resilient, healthy communities backed by strong local food systems.
Dominique Pelissier couldn’t be happier about his experience at the training. “It was my first time visiting Jacksonville. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, and meeting the FAB team and various farmers and markets was truly wonderful. The agenda was incredibly engaging and conducive for learning and networking,” Dominique observed. The event provided a platform for attendees to share experiences and best practices, particularly beneficial for those like Dominique involved with the SNAP Program in Florida’s farmers markets.
“The breakout sessions were the main takeaway for me,” he added, “because we left with an understanding of the challenges facing Florida farmers markets. We also discussed many valuable ideas and opportunities.” Dominique is looking forward to applying these insights when the Delray GreenMarket reopens on October 21st.
“Making fresh, locally sourced produce more affordable and accessible for SNAP recipients is vital,” Dominique emphasized. The SNAP/FAB initiative not only improves access to healthy food but also supports Florida’s small-scale farmers, an integral part of the Delray GreenMarket.
The Fresh Access Bucks Annual Training has enriched the CRA team with crucial insights and networking prospects. The ripple effects of this experience are expected to extend to the Delray GreenMarket, further enhancing community engagement and support for local food systems.