Quabbin Harvest Supports Access to Healthy Food During COVID Crisis

HIP, Recipe for Wellness, and Curbside Pickup!


Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op in Orange remains open and is actively working to bring healthy and local food to area residents, including those living on low incomes. The co-op is currently enrolling people in the state-funded Healthy Incentives Program, which fully reimburses SNAP recipients for a biweekly share of fresh, nutritious vegetables and fruits.

A new Recipe for Wellness program in partnership with Seeds of Solidarity is also launching in late April for low and moderate income households in Orange.

Quabbin Harvest is also offering remote ordering of groceries and curbside pickup as an alternative to shopping in its North Main Street store.

The Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) is open to all SNAP recipients. Participants are reimbursed at rates based on the size of their household and benefit level. The program was briefly suspended recently while legislators worked to secure continuing funding for it, but it has now re-started. People can enroll at any time.

HIP is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) in partnership with the state Departments of Agricultural Resources and Public Health. It supports purchases of farm-fresh foods throughout Massachusetts to benefit both low-income eaters and local food producers.

Recipe for Wellness will provide 20 Orange families with biweekly boxes of farm fresh fruit and vegetables from Quabbin Harvest over the coming growing season. Participants will also attend self-sufficiency workshops on wellness, cooking, gardening, and budgeting, run by Seeds of Solidarity Education Center in Orange.

Recipe for Wellness is funded through the Town of Orange’s Community Development Block Grant. Any Orange resident who is low or moderate income, even if this is recent due to recent COVID-19 circumstances, may apply. In response to the current COVID situation, the deadline has been moved up to April 10. Early applications are encouraged as space is limited. The program will launch at the end of April.

Applications for both HIP and Recipe for Wellness are available at Quabbin Harvest. Application forms can also be downloaded from the co-op’s website, quabbinharvest.coop, and returned in person or by mail to 12 North Main Street, Orange MA 01364.

At present, Quabbin Harvest remains open at its regular hours, Monday to Friday, 10 am to 7 pm and Saturday 9 am to 5 pm. Staff are following strict CDC guidelines for maintaining cleanliness and safety in the store, including sanitizing surfaces more frequently. Prepared foods from Nalini’s Kitchen are available for take-out only.

Shoppers who are concerned about being in the store may email with an order request, pay with a credit card over the telephone, and receive curbside pickup where staff will place the order directly in the trunk of their car to avoid direct contact.

Quabbin Harvest’s mission is to provide healthy food at an affordable price, while building community, supporting local agriculture, and respecting the environment. Anyone wishing information about HIP or curbside pickup can email the store at quabbinharvest@gmail.com or call 978-544-6784. Email contact is preferred as the store is receiving many inquiries at present. Inquiries about Recipe for Wellness can be directed to Quabbin Harvest or to Seeds of Solidarity at 978-544-9023 or deb@seedsofsolidarity.org.

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