This year, some of those members have also donated to support the farm’s new free and subsidized food program, the Help Others Eat Well Fund.
More than $1,000 of donated shares have been given away for the 2014 season.
A committee of CSA members, along with a group of case managers from the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, determined who receives the donated shares.
A second program, Hoophouses for Health, allows Bluestem Farm to reach even more low-income families. In 2013, the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems awarded a zero interest loan to Aaron and Mary Brower to build a hoophouse, or unheated greenhouse.
The Browers are repaying the loan by paying it forward, giving away food to low-income families.
In 2014, Bluestem Farm will put an additional $1,000 of donated food into the hands of families who participate in the Head Start program.