What is the Partner Shares program?

FairShare’s Partner Shares Program began in 1993 to improve access to fresh vegetables grown by local farmers. The Partner Shares Program provides financial assistance to limited-income households and eligible organizations to purchase CSA shares from FairShare farms.  We are also eligible to accept SNAP benefits for payment for your CSA share!

This is an example of bountiful CSA delivery in early October from Crossroads Community Farm.

How it Works

Partner Shares is a cost-sharing program. For eligible households and organizations, FairShare will contribute 50%, up to $300, toward the cost of shares* from FairShare-endorsed farms. For example, a share worth $600 will qualify for $300 from FairShare and require a payment of $300 from the participant, which can be spread over the course of the season.

*Only on-farm produced shares are eligible

Partner Shares Participant Responsibilities

Partner Shares participants take on the responsibilities of being a good CSA member of the farm of their choice and work with FairShare to complete an affordable payment plan for the remaining cost of their share. Assistance funds and availability of CSA shares are limited.  We recommend applicants complete and submit their Partner Shares application as soon as possible as the program typically fills up by mid-spring each year. Requests for Partner Shares funding assistance are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Any interested households are encouraged to contact us to check on availability throughout the year.

How do I apply?

The application is made available January 15 each year.  Requests for Partner Shares funding assistance are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are not reviewed until all application materials have been received.  Watch this short, how-to video to get started:

Important links from the video:

  • Custom Farm Search – Find a farm that works for your needs. Use this in addition to the pickup locations map below.
  • Pickup locations map – Make sure you’ll be able to get to your share! This will help you find a CSA pick-up site that is convenient to where you live, work, or play.
  • Partner Shares Application – Fill this out once you’ve found a farm and signed up through their application system!

 Partner Shares CSA Payment Options:

Once you have filled out your application, you must submit a $25 initial payment (cash, check or money order) to reserve your spot in the program. The initial payment will be applied to your balance due.

Example payment plan

Example: If your payment contribution for the whole share is $300, once you complete your initial payment of $25, you will owe $275.

We offer many options for you to make a co-payment, including payment plans based on your needs. Choose which one works for you:

  • Single Check: Send a check, payable to FairShare CSA Coalition, for the total amount due in your payment plan.  In this option, you do not need to submit a separate $25 initial payment.
  • Multiple Checks: We will create a payment plan for you that is spread out over the months you receive your share.  Remember at least $25 of your share, the initial payment, is required with your application. All checks must be written, post-dated, and mailed when you submit your Partner Shares application.
  • SNAP/EBT Card: To use your SNAP benefits, indicate on your application that you would like to use SNAP/EBT benefits. A confirmation payment plan will be sent to you upon receipt of your application and initial payment (unfortunately, we cannot use SNAP benefits for your initial $25 payment). We will send you paper SNAP vouchers for you to complete and return to FairShare within one week. We will debit your account on the date indicated each month of your payment plan or up to 5 business days after.
  • Multiple Methods. You can pay for part of your share by check(s) and part with SNAP!
  • NEW Credit Card. You can pay your full co-payment amount at once with your credit or debit card. We are piloting this method this year. A payment processing fee of 3% the amount will be applied to the transaction. We are unable to create monthly payment plans for this payment method at this time.

**Some important notes on using SNAP/EBT Benefits: Due to USDA Food & Nutrition Service guidelines, we will not be able to deduct the full payment at one time. The $25 initial check, cash, or money order payment is still required with the application.

Due Dates

All payments (including post-dated payments) must be submitted before your application can be considered complete.  If you withdraw your application, or funding is no longer available, FairShare staff will void and discard any checks.

  • With application: $25 (check, money order, or cash). *Please do not send cash in the mail, this option is only for those that live close to our office and can drop it off in person.
  • Half-way through your share deliveries: At least half of co-payment due
  • During the month of your last CSA share delivery: Full payment due

 

CSA Healthy Rebate Program

Some health insurance providers are recognizing and rewarding their members for proactive healthy choices, one is eating a healthy diet full of fresh vegetables. Now the Coalition has several Health Plan Partners that are providing cash rebates or other wellness incentives to their members for purchasing CSA vegetable shares from a Coalition farm. Click here to learn more and see if your provider participates in this program.

 

Partne_Shares_Give_Local

A Partner Shares family preparing fresh veggies from their CSA share

Questions?

For more information about Partner Shares, please call (608) 226-0300 or email info@csacoalition.org.

Printable Materials

Printable Partner Shares Application

FairShare is a proud member of Wholesome Wave National Nutrition Incentive Network:

Food Access Toolkit

Interested in starting a food access program at your farm, or within your CSA network or coalition? Take a look at our Food Access Toolkit for an in-depth look at the structure of our Partner Shares program, and for tips and suggestions on how to jumpstart many different types of food access initiatives.

FairShare CSA Coalition

FairShare CSA Coalition