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Local farmers partner with CapMetro to deliver fresh produce to vulnerable families

Farmers with the nonprofit Farmshare Austin are one of many groups partnering with CapMetro to get fresh produce to families during the coronavirus outbreak.

AUSTIN, Texas — Nearly 40 households in North Austin were handed a bag of locally grown produce on Wednesday, thanks to nonprofit workers with Farmshare Austin and drivers with Capital Metro.

"Right now we are the only service that we know of that is able to do home delivery and accept SNAP benefits," said Andrea Abel, executive director of Farmshare Austin.

Farmshare Austin, a 10-acre certified organic farm in eastern Travis County, is dedicated to increasing food access and providing families with healthy fresh food. 

"In order to have that equity and access among everybody in our community, you need to have the farmers who know how to grow it and you need to have the farmland on which to grow," said Abel

But recently, the nonprofit ran into a little bit of a roadblock while kicking off its new curbside service.

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Some local businesses selling fresh produce without the hassle of walking into a store

"Two of our three delivery vehicles decided they were going to break down," said Abel.

Luckily, CapMetro was quick to step in and offer two of its vehicles to make the deliveries. 

"They're air-conditioned vehicles, we have drivers that haul all of the PPE equipment, we put the destinations into our scheduling systems and we're able to schedule these trips effectively and efficiently," said Director of Demand Response for Capital Metro Suzie Edrington.

The new partnership with Farmshare is one of many that CapMetro picked up in the last month, all in the effort to get food to families who really need it.

"We've delivered 100,000 meals, we've heard  from people who said they hadn't eaten in a day or two," said Edrington

To find out if your family qualifies, click here.

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