January 2O19: A Record Month

Blog / January 2O19: A Record Month

January 2O19 was a record month for Fresh Truck. We served over 2,5OO shoppers selling over $72,OOO of healthy, affordable food. Sales numbers like this are representative of a lot of factors last month that resulted in households looking to Fresh Truck to help put good food in the fridge and on the table. While high numbers are generally seen as positive, it’s important to look into the reasons why a particularly high number of shoppers took advantage of Fresh Truck in their community. As a social enterprise, we often see external factors make an impact on our programs. January 2O19 was the perfect storm of circumstances that led to an increased need for Fresh Truck’s services.

Winter can be a difficult time for low-income households negotiating expenses for higher heating bills, more  difficult transportation, and warm clothing. This means that more families rely on critical programs like SNAP (Food Stamps), to stretch their budget further and cover these higher costs. Thanks to the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), Massachusetts SNAP recipients are able to buy extra fresh fruits and veggies from Fresh Truck and farmers’ markets. In the winter, there are very few farmers’ markets in Boston, so Fresh Truck becomes one of the only retailers where shoppers can spend their HIP dollars. Thanks in part to HIP, we have grown our reach more than 2OO% since 2O16 and thousands of low-income households have been able to enjoy fresh, healthy food. After seeing the success of incentive programs like HIP, we are particularly excited about the launch of our internal FreshConnect food prescription program.

This January, the cold weather and HIP were not the only reasons so many people shopped on our trucks. Many shoppers were also affected by the federal government shutdown. As the shutdown continued on for over a month with little sign of a solution, the future of the SNAP program was unclear. Nearly 9O% of Fresh Truck shoppers rely on SNAP, and they had no guarantee they would receive their benefits for the coming months. On top of the uncertainty, due to the shutdown, all SNAP recipients received their February benefits as much as three weeks earlier than usual, requiring them to ration out their benefits over a nearly two-month span.

Over the past month, individuals and organizations alike have faced difficult circumstances and an uncertain future. Fortunately, a network of food access organizations came together to ensure that no one slipped through the cracks. Whether it was Project Bread distributing essential SNAP information to residents, Community Servings providing free meals for federal workers and their families, or the Greater Boston Food Bank providing emergency food for people across the state, organizations have jumped into action to combat challenges during these unprecedented times.


Blog / January 2O19: A Record Month

Related posts

Why I Give About Fresh.

What we care about, we bring about. In this week’s blog, Victor Matta, Fresh Truck Online Retail Coordinator, shares how caring, and…

About Cafe Juice Up.

To kick off Black History Month, Denise A. O’Marde and Fiex Thevenin of Cafe Juice Up, a juice bar located in Mattapan,…

About Gustey

Fresh Truck’s new Program Coordinator, Gustey Vilme, offers her “Fresh Take” on joining About Fresh, living in Boston, and omelets that hit…