2023 was a year of many firsts for the food justice team at RBAC! The launch of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in July increased access to locally grown, culturally relevant produce for members of South Seattle. This was also the year that we purchased our food hub van, which reduced significant barriers as well! This van has been used to transport produce from our farmers to the RBAC office, and to deliver CSA boxes right to the doorsteps of our customers. We distributed boxes for 15 consecutive weeks on Friday mornings (with folx also having the option to pick up their boxes at RBAC), along with offering 2 late-season harvest boxes containing gleaned produce. Some weeks we had up to 17 deliveries and 10 pick-ups!
The farm stand program also had many wins! We hosted 3 big events: a hiring fair in March, our Harvest Fest in October, and the annual holiday baking event in December. During the farm stand season, we introduced new varieties of produce that hadn’t been offered in previous years such as daikon and dragon tongue beans. While strengthening our already existing partnerships, we also worked with multiple new BIPOC farmers—many of them coming from Horseneck Farm in Kent, WA. To meet our growing demand, we had 27 volunteers in total who came out to help on our busy Saturday mornings! We operated for 18 weeks total, meaning 18 weeks straight of supplying Rainier Beach residents with free groceries! We are so grateful for everyone who supported us in 2023 and can’t wait to see what more we accomplish in the upcoming year.