Turlock resident JoLynn DiGrazia received a food delivery on Thursday morning that was unusually not pizza or Chinese food.
Instead, DiGrazia acquired fresh tortilla chips from Bonanza Tortilleria in Modesto, beef brisket from Open Space Meats in Newman, white nectarines from Cipponeri Family Farms in Turlock and almond nut cream coffee from San Joaquin Coffee Company in Winton — all thanks to Ag Link’s Local Food Hub.
Boasting a new delivery service, Ag Link’s Local Food Hub allows residents in the greater Turlock, Modesto and Merced areas like DiGrazia to have locally produced, source-identified, farm fresh produce and packaged items delivered directly to their home or business.
For DiGrazia, who was visibly pleased as she received her delivery on Thursday, grocery shopping was next to impossible since she recently underwent major back surgery.
“We’re having a big party this weekend and I can’t shop because of my back, so this is a blessing for me,” said DiGrazia.
DiGrazia said that she originally decided to sign up for the delivery service through Ag Link’s Local Food Hub not only because of her recent back surgery, but because she also suffered from a heart attack, which prompted her and her family to eat healthier.
“I signed up for the service through Facebook because I’ve always wanted to take part in a CSA [Community Supported Agriculture] and I know a lot of the growers in the program so I trust them,” said DiGrazia.
“Plus, I was raised on a farm and we grew our own beef, so I know for a fact that you can’t replicate that taste and nutrition from a grocery store,” added DiGrazia.
DiGrazia said that Thursday’s delivery was just a trial period, as she is “planning ahead” to transfer her delivery subscription next week to Westside Ministries, where she serves as the founder and director.
“Anytime you can get something farm-to-fork, you should do it,” said DiGrazia. “It’s easy, fresher and better and you’re supporting the famers which is very important, especially during a drought.”
Customers just like DiGrazia have enjoyed the convenience of this service through the Ag Link’s Local Food Hub, which officially culminated its first month of delivering locally produced, source-identified, farm fresh produce and packaged items to businesses and homes.
Ag Link owner and CEO Jana Nairn said that Ag Link’s Local Food Hub decided to offer a delivery service to reflect the company’s passion about local food and direct marketing. Not only that, but the program also gives a boost to the local economy.
“We wanted to create a channel to give consumers a direct link to these great products and it fits into our business model for being a direct link source to great local products,” said Nairn. “Plus, the money that goes to local famers and their supply chain partners all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in our community.”
Approximately 30 customers have submitted orders on a regular basis, according to Nairn, and over 100 people have already registered for the online marketplace system.
“Each week it’s been growing. I think that it’s going pretty well just out of the gate,” said Nairn.
From Turlock businesses, consumers can get sweet white corn from Cipponeri Family Farms, honey lemonade from Hey Honey! Artisanal Lemonade, or all-natural lavender home and bath products from Pageo Lavender Farms.
Other product offerings include enchilada sauce from Amalia’s Cocina in Denair, extra virgin olive oils from Sciabica’s Olive Oil in Modesto, gouda from Oakdale Cheese & Specialties in Oakdale, all-natural, clean burning soy candles from Cowboy Nite Lites in Atwater, and cage-free eggs from Great Valley Poultry in Manteca among others.
“Life is busy for all of us, so I think this is a neat way to not only support local growers and enjoy some great local products, but also have the convenience of having the products delivered right to your work or home,” said Nairn. “It’s a win-win.”
Account registration for Ag Link’s Local Food Hub is entirely free and customers can order whenever they want since the program is not a subscription-based service. Orders must be placed by Sunday at midnight for delivery on Thursday the following week.
Ag Link’s Local Food Hub requires a $75 minimum on home delivery orders and a $50 minimum on worksite drop-off deliveries. There is a $9 deliver fee for home delivers and no delivery fee for worksite drop-offs.
To register and browse through the online marketplace system, visit aglink.com/home-delivery.