412 Food Rescue, an organization leading the effort to prevent viable food from entering the waste stream, and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, working to advance initiatives that foster economic vitality and enhance Downtown life, are teaming up to bring the first UglyCSA to Downtown Pittsburgh. 412 Food Rescue’s UglyCSA is the region’s only Community Supported Agriculture program that utilizes vegetables and fruits that do not meet traditional cosmetic standards and creates a new market for unsellable, but perfectly good produce.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs connect farmers and consumers, allowing consumers to purchase a share of a farm’s harvest for a season in exchange for a weekly delivery of fresh goods and produce.
Launched in 2016, 412 Food Rescue partners with Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance, a local farmers cooperative, to provide a new market to previously unsellable produce and other items for their farmers and producers. UglyCSA is a 12-week community supported agriculture program during the high growing season with pickups happening every Wednesday from July 17 through October 2.
In addition to providing a new market for local farmers and producers, UglyCSA preserves the resources that go into food production. Just last year, over 200 UglyCSA subscribers collectively saved 451,280 gallons of water from going to waste, equivalent to enough drinking water for 2,473 people for an entire year.
Each week, UglyCSA subscribers receive a box of “ugly” produce from Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance and other specialty items from local purveyors like Blackberry Meadows Farms, Pisarcik Gardens, and Mediterra Bakehouse, for just $20 per week.
This year, 412 Food Rescue is expanding to offer 250 shares for local subscribers. With the expansion, the two organizations recognized an opportunity to provide a convenient way for Downtown residents and workers to receive fresh, locally-grown produce every week, in addition to events like the Market Square Farmers Market. Beginning this summer, consumers will be able to pick up their UglyCSA share at PG&H, the locally-produced home goods store that’s located at 536 Smithfield Street in Downtown.
“At PG&H, Pittsburghers have access to a unique home goods and retail shop that supports local artists, hosts workshops, and offers another venue that supports a vibrant retail environment in Downtown. We’re proud to be further utilizing this creative space to support the mission of 412 Food Rescue while also giving Downtown residents and workers a convenient way to source their weekly produce,” says Jeremy Waldrup, President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.
“Partnering with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and hosting our first UglyCSA pickup at PG&H is a perfect tie in for 412 Food Rescue,” says Hana Uman, Program Director at 412 Food Rescue. “We know that our UglyCSA subscribers want to support and shop local, and any way that we can enhance this through our programming is a win.”
Less than 50 shares for the 2019 UglyCSA are still available; visit https://412foodrescue.org/ugly-csa-2019-payment/ to purchase a share or to learn more.