Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) is a unique food distribution system that connects a farmer with a community of eaters in order to form a sustainable system for local food production and consumption. A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes—either legally or spiritually—the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Most CSA farms focus on vegetables, but many provide meat, eggs, cheese, preserves, and other farm products directly to consumers.
While CSAs are a vital foundation to a resilient farm economy, a variety of studies also demonstrate that CSA members increase consumption and variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. For these reasons the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association has developed a CSA Wellness Initiative.
HealthShare is a local, community-based coverage program created to provide health coverage to uninsured employees of small businesses in northeastern Minnesota. To qualify for the program, businesses must meet certain eligibility requirements. HealthShare focuses on preventive care, health education, and using health care services at the right time and in the right place. HealthShare allow CSA’s to fulfill one wellness requirements for HealthShare members. If you are a HealthShare member please contact HealthShare for CSA program details. --------------------
Through this Initiative participating health insurance and health coverage program providers offer rebates or wellness benefits to members subscribed to participating CSA farms. Each of the participating CSA farms meets criteria established by the LS-SFA. Applications by interested CSA farms are reviewed annually by the LS-SFA. Those meeting the criteria are included on the list of participating farms below. Not all CSAs participate in this program; you can get a full list here.