How we do it:
Our first strategy is a simple farmers' market based approach that takes food donations from market shoppers and farmers and connects them to a local hunger relief agency. These Donation Stations can now be found at markets around the state. This incredibly successful effort has gotten fresh food flowing locally and fosters community engagement.
Our second strategy, the POP Market, was born out of requests from our community partners, who were seeking a more sustainable model to buy fresh local produce. The POP Market purchases food from small family farms looking for new markets, and sells it to non-profit organizations serving low-wealth communities.
As our initial strategies became more successful, we found that education and support were needed to make the services more widely accessible. Along with our partners, we worked to develop Food Ambassadors to increase the ability of agencies and individuals to use and enjoy fresh produce. Food Ambassadors provides everything from cooking demos to agency incentives.
Community Meals, Community Food Shares, FVRx, and Farm to Pantry are our developing initiatives. Our developing initiatives build off of the strength of these anchor programs to develop additional markets for farmers, expand food access for all, and build a community around food.