We’ve Pivoted, and Need Your Help More Than Ever

Lisa Mosca, Food Moxie Executive Director

Many have asked what Food Moxie is doing in the time of COVID-19, and how to help. About a month ago, we shifted our programs to take the following actions, while maintaining best practices for staff safety:

  • Food Deliveries: Last month, we began deliveries of locally grown, nutrient-dense produce through our partnerships to some of Northwest Philadelphia’s most vulnerable families. Recipients include a shelter kitchen, student families identified by school administrators and themselves as being food insecure, and families in the 19138 zip code who receive food through our partner, Martin Luther King High School.
  • Increased Production in Our Spaces for Food Donation: Food Moxie is fortunate to have access to four growing spaces. This month, staff have been planting collards and kale in our non-perennial growing spaces, as well as some root crops.
  • Support for Local Food Production: As I wrote last month, local food producers, including community gardens, provide thousands of pounds of produce to the community by setting aside growing spaces or sharing their excess harvest.

At a time when the economic impacts of COVID-19 are hitting many in our region, sharing will become even more important. Last week, we supported our partner Awbury Community Garden with a compost delivery so they can ready their spaces for planting. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to provide resources to Philadelphia food producers, including personal protective gear.

  • Taking Our Programs Online: You can now check out garden walks by our staff as well as growing and cooking tips at our new YouTube channel. We have been sharing a number of resources with our school partners as they reach out to their students during this time.

There are many ways for you to help support hyper-local community food security. If you’re able, please consider a donation to help us sustain our pivoted work. If you have time, consider signing up for a food packing shift at Share Food Program or Philabundance.

We will soon post Food Moxie working member slots for socially distant workdays, where a few volunteers at a time will work on our growing spaces. Thus far, we have lost most of our 5,000 annual hours of support in these spaces, (which normally come from companies, organizations and student groups) due to COVID-19. So we will need garden support at our sites and at Awbury Community Garden soon.

If you have a garden space, consider “Growing A Row” and donating that part of your harvest to a local emergency food provider. Whenever Food Moxie has updates on supply giveaways for people interested in growing, we will post them on our website and on social media. For people looking to support hyper-local food production and donation, Philly Food Finder lists emergency food providers in your area that accept produce donations.

In the April issue, I thanked and acknowledged local producers for all they do. This month, I want to thank all the Co-op employees who have continued to provide outstanding service during this crisis.

In particular, thanks are due to Weavers Way General Manager Jon Roesser for his tireless leadership and advocacy for safety in the stores. Food Moxie has strong ties to the Co-op community, and we are so thankful for the ongoing support of our work by employees and members who donate time, energy, money and other resources. I also want to thank all the essential workers in our region for their work.

Keep buying local, keep supporting your Co-op, and stay safe!