NY Times Article Explores Refugee Agriculture

The Monday edition of the New York Times featured a story on refugee agriculture – like our Rooting New Americans project in Manchester, New Hampshire.  The article showcases profiles of sister programs in San Diego, Vermont, and Phoenix.  Most importantly, the story features ORR program officer Larry Laverentz, who continues to be a tireless advocate of refugee agriculture programs in the U.S.  None of these programs would have been possible without Larry. Thank you!

Our other champion in refugee agriculture is Gus Schumacher of the Wholesome Wave Foundation, who is also featured in the Times article.  Wholesome Wave sponsors a “Double Voucher” program at two Rooting New Americans markets.  The vouchers enable a consumer to use $5 of food stamps (now known as SNAP) to purchase $10 worth of produce.  The voucher system spurred sales at our markets.  End of the season totals are in:

  • More than $10,000 in crops were purchased at 22 market days
  • 70% of sales were made to low-income consumers
  • More than 200 unique households were fed – both foreign-born and American-born families

Congratulations go to our New American farmers – your efforts have paid off!

Photo credit: New York Times

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