Only in Flint: Farm-to-front door, fresh food delivery for all

FLINT, Michigan—Maybe you’ve heard of Blue Apron or Door-to-Door Organics or one of the other trendy new home food delivery services. 

Fresh produce right at your door. It is, of course, convenient and also quickly becoming all the rage for the well-to-do. 

People who probably can afford to pay a little extra. 

The same people who probably have pretty easy access to their own transportation. 

And who probably live not to far from a grocery store packed with produce. 

Must be nice, huh? 

Eh, we can do one better. 

We’ve got Flint Fresh. It’s actually not all that different from those fancy national delivery chains, and yet it is, of course, uniquely Flint. 

So, here’s how it works. You go order a box of food. A smaller box is $15. A larger box is $30. It is delivered to your Flint home either Tuesday or Wednesday, based on your zip code.

You can select either the farmer’s choice boxes for a selection of that week’s best fruits and veggies. Or for the pickier eaters, there is an a la cart option in which you select the fruits and veggies your family will actually eat. 

And, you can pay using food stamps. (And, you can use Double Up Food Bucks, which allows families on assistance to buy twice as much fresh produce.)

Delivered right to your door, as often as once a week, all year long. 

So, what if you just happen to be rich? Or maybe just regular old middle class?

That’s OK. Flint Fresh is for you, too.  

See, they have this bizarre idea that everyone should have fresh, healthy foods, and that extra convenience is good for everyone. 

The food is sourced locally as much as possible from the bounty of 20 local growers, but also supplemented because bananas don’t grow around Michigan much and nothing much at all grows in winter.

Flint Fresh is being operated by The Local Grocer, located on MLK and in the Flint Farmers’ Market—but like a lot of things these days, it all came together because of a large group that started working together to solve problems in the wake of the Flint Water Crisis. 

Ends up that eating right helps to combat the effects of lead exposure—as well as decrease your risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and, well, the list goes on and on. 

The home delivery evolved after the launch last year of mobile markets, which goes throughout the city kind of like an ice cream truck, but stocked leaf lettuce and tomatoes.

Over and over again, they were told about hurdles others were facing. Even neighborhood based wasn’t quite good enough. 

“There are homebound people, moms with kids, seniors. There are people who have difficulty leaving the house,” said Erin Caudell, a farmer and co-owner of The Local Grocer. “This is really to meet that demand.”

And, let’s face it: Everyone—city and suburban—is just looking for little conveniences wherever possible. 

So, along with adding a second Flint Fresh Mobile Market van (hitting the streets June 1), they also added the delivery service. 

You can sign up for delivery when you want it. Orders are due by the Thursday before each delivery date. 

The boxes themselves also were made locally by Landaal Packaging. Participants can decide week-to-week if they want to order and what they want to order. Eggs and bread also can be purchased for home delivery. 

Deliveries start the week of May 22. 

The partnership also includes the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, YMCA of Greater Flint, Flint Farmers' Market, and the Neighborhood Engagement Hub. 

For more information or to place an order, go to www.flintfresh.com or call 810-620-1902.

Erin Caudell shows off the radishes that could be yours in a convenient, new, healthy foods home delivery service launching in Flint. Not a fan of radishes? Don't worry. You can choose your own favorite foods.

Read more articles by Marjory Raymer.

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