Whether you kick it old school and order from the butcher or wait on those mile-long lines at Trader Joe’s, one thing is for certain- the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we view grocery shopping. 

As New Yorkers, this has been difficult.  In a city where getting an avocado, a can of red bull, and a box of pasta at 3 AM on a Wednesday from your local corner store is no longer an option, we’ve had to rethink not only how we buy but how we see food supply. In a city of endless street produce vendors and farmers’ markets, New Yorkers are desperately missing the options they had before. 

David Pham and Jason Curescu have tackled this problem with their brainchild, Farms That Are Delivering. When they realized their food subscription box was purchasing meat from outside the United States, they looked for a better way to shop local. After all, a supply of Ramen and non-perishable foods weren’t going to cut it for their quarantine diet. 

David Pham(L) and Jason Curescu (R)

Curescu came across a local NY farm that was delivering and, after having some of the best meat they’d ever tasted, ­­­Pham realized how many others must be in the same boat. Suddenly, they had a problem to solve. How could they help others easily find fresh food during a pandemic? For David Pham, the coder behind it all, and Jason Curescu, the marketing brains, the answer was to create a database of farms nationwide offering pickup and delivery. They launched within a week and less than a month later the database grew from 25 to 495 farms across the country.

Users can search based on several options including grass-finished, pasture-raised, hydroponically grown and certified halal. It’s no wonder they’ve connected over 32,000 people to farms eager for customers. Curescu and Pham shine when talking about their passion project, especially when it comes to the amount of research they put into curating the database, going through farming methods and butchering procedures. Pham mentions how coming across certified Halal and Kosher farms made him tear up. It was the realization that so many people are unrepresented and have issues finding high quality meats and goods; that many with dietary restrictions and special nutritional needs often have to compromise on their food purchases and how they shop.  The fact that the database can connect the public with much needed, often hard to find, services speaks volumes to the backbone of what Curescu and Pham had set out to do.

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In one of the most global cities in the world, Farms That Are Delivering highlights the importance of supporting the local community. If we haven’t convinced you, maybe their mission statement will.

“We are just focused on helping people, that’s what it’s all about. It is about helping people who need help finding meat and produce while simultaneously helping farmers find customers so they don’t have to throw away their food and so that they can continue to survive this very tough time.” 

This unfortunate pandemic has brought much suffering, but it’s actions taken by people like Jason Curescu and David Pham that that give us a little more hope in humanity.

Follow Farms That Are Delivering on Instagram: @farmsthataredelivering

Mary Zouvelos

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