Donations are regularly made to the York County Food Bank, Our Daily Bread, LifePath Food Pantry, Family Frist Health & Katallasso Health

A healthy diet is essential to overall health and strongly influences health outcomes.  Access to and consumption of fresh produce is at the core of combating chronic, diet-related disease and making our community healthier.  According to the York County’s 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment, only 4% of adults consume three servings of vegetables daily, and for residents living in poverty the percentage eating the recommended amount of vegetables falls below 1%.

York County’s 2016 Regional Health Plan identifies a high rate of adult overweight/obesity as Health Issue #1 and calls on the community to increase fruit and vegetable consumption by improving local food accessibility with initiatives that connect local growers with underserved populations.   The Eat Play Breathe York 2016-2018 Community Action Plan also identifies Objectives and Action Steps to increase access to and consumption of healthy foods.  These include strengthening and promoting community gardens, supporting the advancement of an urban farm project, and supporting the development and implementation of a healthy corner store initiative within the City of York.

Feeding America estimates that approximately 10.9% of York County residents are food insecure.  As many as 47% of the estimated 47,748 food insecure individuals residing in York County do not qualify for federal/state funded food pantries, SNAP benefits or free school meals access.  The annual income limit for SNAP eligibility in Pennsylvania is $38,880 for a family of four; yet a livable annual wage in York County for a family of four with two working parents is estimated at $59,321. This gap between the income threshold for SNAP and other federal/state funded food assistance programs and the income associated with a livable wage is commonly referred to as the “food gap.”  Families in the “food gap” often struggle to eat nutritious, health promoting meals without the benefit of traditional food assistance programs.

York Fresh Food Farms is on the front lines of increasing access to fresh, healthy food in the City of York.  Our vegetables are grown organically and affordably priced; we are growing food in York City for York City.

York Fresh Food Farms began its Mobile Produce Market operations in 2018.  The Mobile Produce Market follows a regular schedule with stops throughout the City of York to provide under-served neighborhoods,  and city residents with limited transportation, high quality, affordable, organically grown produce.  The Mobile Produce Market operation addresses food access inequities and spreads the word about the importance of nutrition & eating delicious fruits and vegetables to encourage healthy, urban lifestyles.

Some of our 2020 Data follows; keep reading to access our full 2020 Year End Report!

Table 1. Subsidized Payments. York Fresh Food Farms’ Mobile Produce Market operates to serve the low-income population of York City. Comparative to 2019, Y3F MPM has seen an increase in SNAP/EBT payments from 8.1% in 2019 to 15.9% in 2020, as well as an increase in Total Sales by Dollar for FMNP redemption, $5,676.00 in 2020 compared to $3,145.00 in 2019. Y3F increased promotion and communication about its acceptance of Subsidized Payments throughout its 2020 season to encourage these increases in redemption rate(s). Unfortunately, the Heart Smarts Program through which Heart Bucks* are distributed and redeemed was greatly diminished in the 2020 Season due to COVID-19; Y3F plans to continue to partner with the City of York Bureau of Health to offer and bolster the Heart Smarts Program in 2021.
Table 2. 2020, 2019 & 2018 Mobile Produce Market Comparison. As aforementioned, the receipt of monies through Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant provided York Fresh Food Farms with a Second Mobile Produce Market Vehicle, allowing Y3F to increase its number of weekly markets. The receipt of grant-funding from York County Community Foundation provided Y3F with the means to ensure the success of this Mobile Produce Market Expansion through community outreach, information sharing & increased resources on site at each Market Location. Financial support from Dawn Foods Foundation ensured the successful operation, management & quality at each Market Location.