Frequently Asked Questions
Just Food is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in New York City with local partners within 250 miles. Since 1995, we have been a pioneer in food justice and an advocate for sustainable agriculture thanks to our emphasis on community-driven solutions to inequities in our food system. Just Food galvanizes engaged individuals to develop thriving communities that have the power to feed, educate, and advocate for each other. We envision a sovereign and healthy food system rooted in racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.
How can I stay informed on all things Just Food? Is Just Food on social media?
What is the Just Food Conference?
The annual Just Food Conference highlights the amazing work we and our partners do along the food justice spectrum. It has a history of amplifying the diverse - often unheralded - voices of NYC community food and agriculture leaders who are most impacted by the systemic inequities we face. It convenes a range of speakers, partners, urban and rural growers, food policy advocates, and social justice activists. For more information, please check out our conference website. You can also watch programming from the 2018 Just Food Conference, themed “Persist/Resist!”, on our YouTube channel.
Is Just Food a food pantry?
While we do advocate for food justice and accessibility of health food for all, Just Food is not a food pantry. To find a food pantry near you, you can use one of the following tools: WhyHunger’s database, FeedNYC’s Emergency Food Relief Organization Directory, or Hunger Free America’s Neighborhood Guides to Food & Assistance (available in multiple languages). If you are in immediate search of food, please call 311 for the pantry nearest you.
Community-Run Farmers’ Markets & CSAs
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a volunteer-led, membership driven food access model that directly connects a regional farmer to a group of individuals who want to buy locally grown, high quality, fresh produce. Some farmers also offer fruit, dairy, eggs, meat, and other local products. A member purchases a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer before the start of the season. Every week or every other week (from June until November), your farmer will deliver that share of produce to a convenient drop-off location in your neighborhood.
How does just food partner with CSAs?
For over 23 years, Just Food has helped foster direct relationships between 30+ sustainable farmers within 250 miles to thousands of New Yorkers. Just Food offers resources, information, and networking opportunities to over 118 CSA sites throughout the 5 boroughs. We help people find out how to start a CSA site or how to become a member by promoting CSAs and farmers via social media, our website, and our Value Chain Map. If your CSA is not listed on Just Food’s map, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be included on our future Value Chain Network Map.
How do I find and sign up for a CSA near me?
Please use our Value Chain Map to find a CSA nearest you within the five boroughs. To sign up, you must contact the CSA directly. Please note that CSA sign ups tend to happen in the early to late spring for summer shares. For CSA sites that offer fall/winter shares, sign ups generally begin in late summer. For more information on a particular CSA, please contact the site directly.
What is a Community-Run Farmers’ Market? Can I get food from growers in the city too?
Just Food supports community members who want to play a direct role in increasing healthy food access in their own neighborhoods by providing practical training on how to start a farmers’ market, fostering a peer to peer network with other market managers, and making connections to rural and urban growers. This unique approach to farmers’ markets creates opportunities for actual community residents to become market managers and determine who vends at that market to best meet the needs of the community. These markets also aim to serve populations of all incomes with many accepting SNAP, EBT, FMNP, WIC vouchers, and Health Bucks. Please see our current Community-Run Farmers’ Market flyer for a complete list of farmers’ markets in our network.
Farmers, Growers, Producers
How does Just Food work with farmers and growers? If I am a local farmer/grower/producer, how do I get involved with Just Food?
Just Food aims to increase the viability of small-mid scale sustainable farmers/growers/producers within 250 miles of the city. We provide connections to CSAs and Community-Run Farmers’ Markets and have begun to ramp up building relationships with restaurants and other businesses. We are able to increase awareness of your business’s mission and operations through our Value Chain Map. If you are a farmer/producer/grower and would like to be included on our map or receive more information, please fill out the Farmer & Producer Inquiry Form.
How do I find out more information about Just Food’s Core Trainings?
Just Food Core Trainings are based on Popular Education that emphasizes lifting up expertise of individuals in their communities who would not otherwise be recognized as experts. Our Core Trainings foster collaborative leadership within community members and stokes their passion to share their skills back in their communities and beyond. Many are inspired to forge new career paths in fields such as culinary arts, agriculture, and policy. In the past, we have offered Training of Trainers (ToT), Community Chef Training, Advocacy Training, and How to Start a CSA or Community-Run Farmers’ Market. Please complete the Core Training Inquiry Form if you would like to receive information on any of these trainings. Please also check out our social media for any updates on future trainings. To request to schedule a Community Chef cooking demonstration, please see the Community Food Education section below.
Community Food Education
How do I become a Just Food Community Chef?
Just Food hosts periodic Community Chef Training for community members with interest and experience in cooking. We train interested individuals how to conduct cooking demonstrations in their communities that highlight local, seasonal food through simple recipes and basic cooking techniques. If you are interested in a potential training in the future, please fill out our Core Training Inquiry Form.
What is a Just Food Community Chef cooking demonstration?
Community chefs demonstrate simple cooking techniques that highlight local, seasonal vegetables and provide tips on how to incorporate these vegetables to fit individual and cultural preferences. Chefs connect with community members to discuss the health benefits of eating seasonally, incorporating plant based foods in their diet, and the importance of supporting local farmers. Chefs will distribute recipes and provide participants with easy to remember tips about where and how to purchase vegetables affordably as well as information about how to store, prepare, and care for their local, seasonal vegetables.
How do I request a Just Food Community Chef to conduct a cooking demo at my community-based event?
If you are looking to have a cooking demo at your community event, organization, workshop, etc., please fill out the Cooking Demonstration Request Form and someone will get back to you shortly. Please provide us with at least 3-6 weeks advance notice of your event to schedule a cooking demo.
Working/Volunteering with Just Food
How can I volunteer with Just Food?
If you are interested in helping out with events, workshops, or any small projects that come up, please fill out our Volunteer Registry form. We send out updates on volunteer opportunities periodically.
What internships or job opportunities do you offer?
Does Just Food offer group volunteer days for individuals or companies?
Just Food does not offer group volunteer days, however, we encourage groups to support our community partners on the ground. Please check out Greenthumb’s Garden Map and New York City Community Garden Coalition for information on community gardens and their upcoming volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in helping Just Food out at larger events such as our annual Just Food Conference, please complete the Volunteer/Intern Registry.
Urban Agriculture/Community Gardening
Are Just Food and Farm School related?
Farm School NYC began with a collective vision in 2007 and started as a program of Just Food in 2010. Just Food remains a proud partner of Farm School NYC and is currently its fiscal sponsor. For more information about Farm School NYC and their programming, please visit Farm School NYC’s website.
What organizations can I contact for information about NYC community gardeners?
If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved with a community garden, please check out Greenthumb’s Garden Map for a comprehensive list of NYC Parks and Recreation gardens within the five boroughs. You can also check out New York City Community Garden Coalition for information on other community gardens.
How can I donate my garden or market produce?
For gardeners or individuals interested in selling their home-grown produce, please reach out to East New York Farms. Individuals may drop off produce at ENYF farmers’ markets and interns will then sell that produce at the market. You can also donate fresh produce to a food pantry near you by using AmpleHarvest.org’s “find a pantry” tool.
Who should I contact about city chickens?
As part of our urban agriculture training work prior to 2012, Just Food helped community members learn how to start and maintain their own city chicken projects. While we no longer provide this programming, there are many community gardens and individuals who still do this work around the city. Check out NYC Parks and Recreation’s event page for future chicken related workshops. To learn more about the laws regarding city chickens, visit the new NYC Urban Agriculture Page.