Calypso's COVID-19 Response
OUR NEW COMMUNITY FOOD RELIEF PLAN:
Over the next several months and for as long as we can, our priority as an organization will be to provide emergency food relief to our Fairbanks community. In addition to offering 50% off to Food Stamp users, we are launching a "Pay What You Can" system on all vegetables this summer - starting with our CSA program - allowing up to a 50% discount for anyone in need and especially for those impacted by COVID-19 who do not quality for state food benefits.
In partnership with other community organizations, we will be offering food deliveries this summer to those most vulnerable and in need of a free food option, as well as providing regular deliveries to The Bread Line throughout the season.
Although our youth programs at the School Gardens were postponed this season due to new land use regulations, we are hoping, with a very generous organic seed potato donation from Timohovich Farms LLC, to be able to plant potatoes in those gardens to support families in need this fall.
All of this to say - we'll need your help.
- School Garden Potato Project: This project will cost $7,000 and has the potential to provide for many families.
- 50% off for SNAP (Food Stamp) users: Our goal is to raise $5,000 to support SNAP customers this season.
- "Pay What You Can": Our goal is to raise $8,000 to support these customers impacted by job loss or healthcare costs.
- Emergency Food Relief: Our goal is to raise $10,000 to provide food deliveries to individual families throughout the season and an additional $10,000 to support weekly food deliveries to The Bread Line.
Total Community Food Relief Goal: $40,000
If you can help support our food relief efforts, please consider making a one-time or recurring monthly donation. EVERY donation will make a difference!
We can also accept donations by mail:
P.O. Box 106, Ester, Alaska 99725
AN UPDATE ON FOOD THIS SUMMER:
If the situation changes and both the local medical community and government agree that social distancing can be eased, we will consider resuming some market activities with safety precautions in place BUT, as of right now, we are planning that ALL vegetable sales this season will be CSA or pre-order/pick-up only.
In an effort to make access to our food as easy as possible, we are offering an extended range of NEW vegetable CSA share options, each of which will also be available for ordering on a week-by-week basis. All weekly share pricing will be compatible with WIC and Senior Coupons (in $5 increments) and can also be purchased with Food Stamps. More info on how to place weekly orders to come as the growing season gets closer!
We are also enacting a “Pay What You Can” system on ALL shares (up to 50% off) for those who have been hit hardest by COVID-19 including those struggling with job loss, healthcare costs, etc. Calypso's "Pay What You Can" initiative is designed to support members of our community in need. We ask that if you're able to pay more this year, please do and your extra dollars will support someone who is unable to pay the full amount.
The funds available for "Pay What You Can" discounts are limited and it is our hope that those who need it most will be able to benefit. We trust you to make the best assessment of need for yourself with the broader community in mind. If you have not been financially impacted, please consider supporting those who have and donate to our new Emergency Community Food Relief Fund. You can do that when you sign up for a CSA share or by clicking here.
In addition to our Large and Small share sizes, we've added a Personal Share, Salad Share, and a Storage Veggie Share. All of the details, discount options, and sign-ups can be found on our website:
HOW WE'RE ADJUSTING OUR PROGRAMS:
Hands-on education has always been a huge part of Calypso but we are up for the challenge of transforming our programs into ones that will support social distancing while continuing to meet the needs of our community!
We are so excited to start rolling out some new things in the next few weeks including online gardening workshops, virtual Calypso knit nights, NEW Farm Discovery Activity Kits for kids to do at home, and more!
Currently, we have cancelled or postponed all in-person workshops through April and have put registration on hold for all workshops through May. We will be in contact with those who have registered for upcoming workshops which may be affected.
MEMORIAL DAY PLANT SALE:
To ensure that you get your plant starts, it's going to be important and required to pre-order your plants for pick up this year. We will have a pre-order form available soon - you'll be able to order online or print & mail in your order form!
Plant pick-up will be at the end of May and there will be several days to choose from - not just on Memorial Day. We, of course, do not know what the situation in our community will be two months from now but we do want you to know that we will be accommodating individual pick-ups for anyone who is high-risk or for anyone who would prefer a solo pick-up. As of right now, we are planning that "group pick-ups" will be organized in a way that minimizes social contact and maximizes safety.