Valley Roots Food Hub COVID-19 support

MOSCA — Since 2014, the Valley Roots Food Hub has been aggregating local food from producers across the San Luis Valley and the state of Colorado and distributing wholesale to grocery stores, restaurants, and through their CSA market to individuals and families. Last year, Governor Polis declared 2020 to be the “Year of Local Food”. The Valley Roots Food Hub is beyond grateful to be in the business of local food providing an essential service for their customers.

Luckily, the Hub was already set up with an online retail market allowing ease for their customers to order items “a-la-carte” style every week and have them delivered to their home or the pickup location available in their town. Traditionally, the Hub has had a Tuesday 4 PM order deadline and Friday delivery, but with the influx of new buyer registrations, they have pivoted to operating twice a week, with an additional Friday 4 PM order deadline and Tuesday delivery.

While closures and restrictions burdened the wholesale restaurant customers, more individuals and families sought out local delivery service than ever before; sales shifted from 90% Wholesale and 10% Retail to about 90% Retail and 10% Wholesale. With these changes, staffing, operations, and driving logistics shifted tremendously. More jobs were created, new protocols for a growing CSA customer base were implemented, and trucks were on the road more than ever before reaching customer homes near and far.

The Hub is also excited to announce that they are now accepting SNAP benefits! Customers with EBT should order as normal on the Hub’s online market valleyrootsfoodhub.localorbit.com and checkout using a Purchase Order (instead of a credit card) with their initials, date, and SNAP (ex: AS 3/8/21 SNAP). The one caveat is that SNAP participants must be present at time of purchase of their order, so the Hub is only accepting SNAP at their warehouse: 5401 Terry Street in Mosca. Hours for SNAP payment and pickup are as follows: Monday 3-5, Tuesday 9-6, Wednesday 12-4, Thursday 3-5, Friday 9-4.

The warm months of summer bring about the Hub’s traditional 13 week Summer CSA, where participating customers pay a lump sum upfront and receive a curated box of veggies, fruit, and value-added items worth $35 each week. Sign-ups for the 2021 season will begin in April. Follow @ValleyRootsFoodHub on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date!

Last year, grant funding from Nourish Colorado provided 60 CSA shares to Senior Citizens and participants in the Women, Infant, & Children (WIC) program throughout the season. Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Farm 2 Early Childhood Program sponsored two summer and winter shares for home caregivers in Alamosa and 12 winter shares to families with Children’s Garden. Feedback such as one customer who had never tried a beet before reminded staff the importance of their work. The Hub is thankful to grant funding that helps create a more equitable opportunity for folks to eat locally and get a taste of what their local foodshed has to offer.

The Valley Roots Food Hub has access to the highest quality produce, provides the story behind the food and farmers on your plate, and strongly believes everyone has three votes a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to cast their ballot for the local food system they want to see in the world. Curious customers can register here: valleyrootsfoodhubcsa.localorbit.com/registration.