BROWN MARKET SHARES PROGRAM
The Brown Market Shares Program is a campus-based food distribution organization grounded in the principles of the Community Supported Agriculture model. Shareholders pay upfront (though weekly payment plans are available) for between ten and twelve weeks of produce, which they then pick-up every Thursday at the Brown/RISD Hillel Center. The goal is to facilitate access – for all members of the Brown community – to fresh, sustainably produced-food. The on-campus location is vital in this respect, because many students do not or cannot travel to seek out the many farm stands in Rhode Island and staff of the university may face similar travel or cost barriers. In order to further ensure the accessibility of the program, Market Shares offers subsidized shares through an internally funded cost structure.
Prompted by an interest in agro-food systems, particularly those systems alternative to the current industrial model, I began volunteering for the Brown Market Shares Program during my first semester at Brown. As I became more involved, I identified strongly with the organization’s goals and mission – to provide access to sustainably grown, local food for the Brown community. My work with Market Shares has afforded me the opportunity to increase my knowledge of local food systems while actively and tangibly engaging with the academic ideas about agriculture that I encounter in the classroom.
Recently, the Brown Market Shares Program was recognized as one of the top 15 finalists in the Campus Champions of Change Challenge, a nation-wide contest hosted by the White House! Read more!