Customers along the North Coast can now have fresh local foods delivered to their door through a new delivery system.
The service, called North Coast Grown, offers deliveries through a van shared by North Coast Food Web of Astoria, Food Roots of Tillamook and Nehalem Provisions.
Caitlin Seyfried, the programs manager of the North Coast Food Web, said the delivery program is 100% up and running now after a trial period to dial in the process.
The food web uses a shared van to make deliveries between Astoria and Manzanita on Fridays, with the plan to expand it to the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington in the future.
“Small food and farm businesses that are local can sell their products with us and we operate like an online market,” Seyfried said of the food web. She said for the past few months the program has had between 30 and 40 vendors selling seasonal items, including salsa, fresh fish, plants, produce and eggs. Most customers choose to pick up their orders from the North Coast Food Web office in Astoria on Thursdays.
“But we know that’s not accessible for everybody so that’s where the idea for delivery came from and just the idea that the region would benefit from a van that’s shared between partners,” Seyfried said.
To cut down on costs and because they only need it one day per week, the food web decided it would make sense to share a van instead of buying its own.
Funding comes from the Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization as well as the Oregon Coast Visitors Association and a USDA grant for a regional food systems partnership.
“We’ve worked really hard to make the delivery program accessible to people of all incomes, so there is a $10 fee for customers but that fee is waived for anyone on SNAP or EBT, or anyone who otherwise needs help with groceries,” Seyfried said.
The delivery service also accepts the green checks from the Farm Direct Nutrition Program that seniors and WIC recipients can use at farmers markets. Seyfried said the food web is also working on setting up the Double Up Food Bucks program, which Food Roots also uses.
Kailyn Schmidt, the local food procurement coordinator for Food Roots, said Food Roots runs an online and in-store marketplace with products sourced from producers out of Tillamook and Clatsop counties.
“We help them get their sales up, and it’s a separate outlet for them outside of a farm stand,” Schmidt said. “It’s an easy way to connect with the community from outside our store.”
They said the North Coast region is big and not all just on U.S. Highway 101, so local food access can be tough. The North Coast Grown delivery service is meant to address that.
“Every delivery we get out means that our farmers are able to get their food out, support their families and keep their land,” they said.
For more information, visit northcoastgrown.org or call the North Coast Food Web at 503-468-0921.