Farmers

Small and mid-scale farmers, particularly socially disadvantaged farmers of color and female farmers, are having an increasingly difficult time making a living despite their importance in healthy communities. 

eaters

There is a paradox between obesity and hunger in our country. We are experiencing an epidemic of diet and weight related illnesses, while too many simply don't have enough nutritious food to eat. 

Family farms are essential to a strong, healthy community.

Economic

4x the jobs and greater market resiliency

  • Compared to non-local, sales in local food support 4x the jobs. 
  • Domestic production and local markets create a more resilient future food system (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

 

Environmental

sustainability through stewardship

  • Industrial agriculture is the biggest source of pollution to lakes and rivers in the United States, and the global food system is responsible for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • More than half of all U.S. crop land harvested is corn and soy. Monoculture farms are more dependent on chemical fertilizers, while small and diversified farms more often use sustainable practices. (World Future Council, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization)

Health

Widespread access to real food

  • Americans spend 90% of their food budget on processed foods, a major contributor to diet and weight related illnesses 
  • Sufficient access to fresh fruits and vegetables is lacking in many communities. Small farms selling locally help alleviate the national problem of food deserts. (Fast Food Nation)

Social

reconnecting to our food

  • Restoring the connection between farmers and the public is essential to long-term change in our food system. Direct market sales promote communication between growers and eater about the challenges facing sustainable small farming. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Small farmers are struggling to make a living.

farming is North Carolina's largest industry, employing 19% of the workforce - yet the number of farmers has been declining for a decade

 

Small and mid-scale farmers are often excluded from subsidies and other benefits. 

Large farms growing exclusively commodity crops like corn, wheat, and soy often receive subsidies and other financial supports from the government that small farmers growing "specialty" crops don't qualify for. (Washington Post)

Women farmers and farmers of color are historically disadvantaged.

These farmers face unique challenges - and the demand for grants to support them vastly exceeds funding supply provided by U.S. legislation. (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, New York Times)

Hunger is present in the midst of plenty: 

Despite being the 8th largest agricultural producer in the country, North Carolina is the 9th most hungry state. 

1 in 4 children, 1 in 5 adults

in NC suffer from hunger or food insecurity

(Feeding America, NC Food Banks)

food insecure (adj.) - lacking access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food


When quantity is favored over quality, health suffers. 

1 in 3 adults

in NC is overweight or obese

(The State of Obesity)

2/3 of deaths

in NC are preventable due to diet and lifestyle

(Nat. Center for Biotechnology Information)

Hunger and obesity can exist simultaneously in the same family, the same individual.

Food insecurity in adults increases likelihood of obesity by:

Food insecurity during infancy and early childhood increases likelhood of obesity by age 5 by:


Access is the problem.

Minority and low income populations are disproportionately affected by hunger and obesity

Food banks want to serve fresh food.

But are limited in what they can afford, store, and distribute. 


Supporting small farmers growing real food, and connecting them to local hunger is a solution where everyone wins.