Massachusetts Food System Collaborative
Massachusetts Food System Collaborative

What HIP means to Aliza & Killian

When asked about why she shops at the Regional Environmental Council farmers markets, Aliza is quick to bring the conversation to her two year old son, Killian. A regular at the winter markets, she began cooking with beets for the first time this year.  Aliza says, “There’s a lot of stuff at the market we get that my toddler will try. I roasted the beets and made a balsamic dressing for a salad for myself but he just eats them roasted. I put thin shaved radishes in a salad and he eats those too. He will eat pretty much everything except tomatoes!”

Killian also enjoys helping with the shopping and the cooking. Aliza says, “It’s a lot easier when he gets to help me. There’s not much he can do now but he likes measuring and mixing things.”

Aliza manages her family’s food budget and does most of the cooking. Strategies to stretch her food dollars include buying as much as she can on sale and purchasing in bulk. When asked about how her shopping habits have changed since the introduction of HIP, Aliza says, “Before this program, I didn’t buy nearly as many fresh fruits and vegetables. This is helping us to get a lot more. The supermarket is often more expensive than the farmers market which I didn’t expect. I thought local fresh produce would actually be higher but it’s been a lot lower. And it tastes so much better! I got some carrots from the farmers market the other day, I usually buy organic carrots at the store. I was chopping them up and they were so much juicier and sweeter than anything I could get from the store. I’ll even bring salads to work and people see I have interesting salad ingredients and ask to try it.”

Aliza and market staff often discuss her latest culinary creations featuring local produce when she shops each week. She recently prepared a squash and kale curry and searches the internet regularly for recipe ideas to highlight what’s available that week. Killian’s favorites include steamed broccoli and “anything sweet potato.”

While she stressed the benefits of the program for her family personally, Aliza also is appreciative of the benefit to our local farming economy. “It’s very helpful to be able to get the extra money for fresh and fruits and vegetables, but I also feel good knowing I’m supporting local farms. It’s probably not something I could budget for without this program.”

For more information about HIP, and the Campaign for HIP Funding, click here.
Thanks to the Regional Environmental Council for writing these stories.

Massachusetts Food System Collaborative