Farmer Foodshare connects people who grow food with people who need food. We work to create a community that provides a living for hardworking, local farmers and provides fresh, nutritious food for people in need. Our vision is a community where everyone has access to healthy and nutritious food, and where farmers can make a living - a system where everyone wins.
Farmer Foodshare was founded in Carrboro, NC in 2009. We started with support from farmers and shoppers at the Carrboro Farmers Market in response to growing threats to the livelihood of small farmers, and lack of fresh produce in local hunger relief organizations. The mission was to raise funds and fresh produce donations for those in need in the community, while also supporting the farmers growing the food, and building stronger local food systems.
The first major source of funding was a sponsorship through Abundance North Carolina, a nonprofit organization that serves as a hub for sustainable and local economic development in the state, and offers an incubation program for new and growing organizations.
When Farmer Foodshare became its own 501c-3 organization, it began a greater expansion of its operations through new programs and a wider geographic area.
The Donation Station is Farmer Foodshare’s flag-ship program that you will learn more about in the next module. We take a holistic approach to food access, farm sustainability and education. Learn more about our other community programs below!
Farmer Foodshare Wholesale Market
Access is a key component in building a more sustainable and equitable local food system. Our Wholesale Market provides another way to connect local growers with organizations, schools, and businesses in our area. Our wholesale market was created as a way to increase the impact of Donation Station recipients by enabling them to buy a reliable supply of local produce at affordable prices.
The Wholesale Market is a year-round operation that works exclusively with North Carolina family farmers and food producers, with the goal of supporting female farmers and farmers of color. By providing these growers with another outlet for wholesale, we aim to help farmers make a decent living, while also making nutritious, local food available for a broader range of people.
Many of our Wholesale buyers are also Donation Station recipients, however, we work with a broad range of individuals and organizations including public institutions, food businesses, child care programs, and a variety of non-profit programs.
To see what is for sale this week on our Wholesale Market, or to learn more about our farmers and programming visit our website at: farmerfoodshare.localfoodmarketplace.com
Access is simply one component of food system equity. When our recipient organizations (and those that they serve) asked how to store and prepare fresh produce, we listened and established our Food Ambassadors program. We realize that education is crucial to preparing fresh produce in ways that are economical, easy, and delicious!
Volunteers in our Food Ambassadors program are trained to visit our recipient agencies and engage participants through a lively and engaging cooking demonstration using local produce and affordable ingredients. Each participant is encouraged to try the dish, and also receives a recipe to enable them to make the dish at home!
Food Ambassadors put together Veggie and Farmer Fact Sheets and a collection of simple, delicious recipies - both available on our resources page. If you are interested in volunteering as an Food Ambassador, visit our: farmerfoodshare.org/volunteer
Our organization also offers Community Meals, encouraging our farmers, recipients, and volunteers to gather together for a meal! These meals allow us to all connect with one another and brings our organization full circle while enjoying the fruits (and veggies) of our farmer friends’ labor.