That's me: fourth from the left, sporting a Farmer Foodshare "I Share" t-shirt. Will you consider sharing too?

That's me: fourth from the left, sporting a Farmer Foodshare "I Share" t-shirt. Will you consider sharing too?

Why I support Farmer Foodshare
(and hope you will too!)

I’ve been a North Carolinian since I was four years old. I take pride in calling this place home for all of its unique dichotomies: we have both the highest mountain and the second longest coastline east of the Mississippi, we have Duke and UNC, and of course, we have tomato and vinegar barbeque sauce.

But there are a few contradictions I would like to see changed:

  • North Carolina is the 8th largest agriculture producer, yet our percentage of residents without enough food consistently ranks in the top 10.
  • 30.1% of all North Carolinians are obese, yet 81% of households who receive food assistance are not sure where their next meal is coming from.
  • 17% percent of jobs in this state are agriculture/agribusiness (it’s our 3rd leading industry), yet 79% of the 52,000 farms in NC recorded less than $50,000 in revenue between 2007 and 2012.

These are big problems to solve. I’ve chosen to play a role by supporting Farmer Foodshare.

Why Farmer Foodshare?

I have been a member of the Farmer Foodshare board since 2013, because I believe in what we’re trying to achieve—a healthier world in which all people have access to nutritious food—and also in the way we’re doing it.

As many of you know, I’m constantly (obsessively?) curious about our big world, seeking to understand the motivations for why people and systems operate the way they do, and connecting dots and learning from those doing interesting things. Farmer Foodshare takes a similar approach to the food system. We’re a leader in identifying win-win approaches to solving two problems in our state: food insecurity and the loss of small, local farmers.

The food system is complicated and fragmented. Many of the current solutions seem like band-aids and don’t address core issues. There’s nothing wrong with these solutions, except they don’t stop the cycle of food insecurity and dwindling local farms. That’s what Farmer Foodshare is doing differently.

I serve Farmer Foodshare because we are partnering with local hunger relief organizations and local public schools to ensure access to fresh, nutritious, locally grown food – not just shelf-stable items. We’re partnering with North Carolina farmers to grow that food, ensuring that local family farmers have additional opportunities to make a decent living. And we’re empowering organizations, individuals, and communities through listening and supporting self-direction as we seek to enable independence. 

You can help create change too.

As a board member and as a North Carolinian, I’m doing what I can to help Farmer Foodshare create more positive outcomes for NC eaters and growers. Please consider joining me in making a donation to Farmer Foodshare.

There are additional ways to get involved with Farmer Foodshare:

  • You can learn more through stories and information on the Farmer Foodshare website.
  • You can volunteer.
  • You can spread the word.
  • You can call or email me directly. I love talking about this important work!

Thank you for your support!

Tim Schwantes