Dear edible New Mexico community,
At edible we believe that supporting our local food community is paramount to the economic, cultural, and physical vitality of our state. With increasing concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it is important, now more than ever, to consider the ways we can continue to support our local food businesses. Not only do the livelihoods of our food service workers, farmers, food artisans, and others depend on us, but, in many cases, it is these very businesses that can provide innovative solutions.
In terms of groceries, please consider reaching out to your local farmers, many of whom already have or are willing to initiate deliveries, pick-ups, farm stands, and CSAs. There are also some wonderful local businesses and organizations that bring fresh, local produce to your front door or to designated pick-up locations. A few include Squash Blossom, which has just added home delivery in addition to their pick-up locations in Santa Fe; the Agricultura Network’s La Cosecha CSA, which begins in June; Skarsgard Farms, which offers home delivery of organic groceries from New Mexico and elsewhere; and New Mexico Harvest (formerly Beneficial CSA), which allows customers to shop online and offers both pick-up and home delivery in the greater Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas. Many of these services are increasing their safety precautions during this time. According to Thomas Swendson of New Mexico Harvest, some of those procedures now include contactless delivery, delivery drivers wearing masks and disposable gloves, and additional sanitation of packaging. Squash Blossom’s founder Nina Yozell-Epstein says, “We need to support our local farm community however we can, and get food to the people! Our local food system is going to play an important role helping us through this time.” Other CSA options are listed here.
Please also consider donating to or stepping up to volunteer for our state’s many food banks and senior meals programs, as their work will continue to be critical to feeding vulnerable and house-bound populations. Kitchen Angels, for instance, is actively looking for volunteer delivery drivers and cooks. All volunteers are subject to a strict health-screening process. Road Runner Food Bank and The Food Depot are other opportunities to offer your service.
We encourage our readers to stay up-to-date with current guidelines regarding restaurants that have been issued from the CDC, WHO, and local and state public health officials. Because social distancing is critical right now, one way to support your favorite restaurants is to purchase gift cards, which can be redeemed at some point in the future. Many restaurants are expanding their carryout and prepared meal options; reach out and visit their websites and social media to find out more.
As this situation continues to develop, so will local and national safety recommendations. Please follow these recommendations. Your safety and the safety of our community is what is most important. With care and caution forefront in our minds, our local food economy can be a source of strength and resilience in this time of concern. We’re all in this together.