Pilot CSA Program Connects Faith Communities and Farmers of Color

Rural Advancement Foundation International—USA’s (RAFI-USA) Come to the Table program launched an 80-member community-supported agriculture (CSA) partnership between three local farmers of color and eight churches in Wake County, North Carolina. This pilot, part of RAFI-USA’s Farm and Faith Partnerships Project, will run for eight weeks, with farmers beginning to plant in mid-February and deliveries taking place in April and May. RAFI-USA anticipates that the CSA will bring in $20,000 in produce sales for local farmers. Census data shows the average NC farmer runs a 168-acre farm whose market value exceeds $250,000 per year; for African American farmers, the average is 95 acres. RAFI-USA notes that for farmers of color, creating local partnerships through community-supported agriculture means a guaranteed source of income and market for their products. Meanwhile, for faith communities, forming a relationship with a local farmer helps increase access to fresh, healthy foods.