Farmer Foodshare reshapes the disconnected food system by removing barriers to growing and accessing local food.
A healthier world in which all people have access to nutritious food.
Our first strategy is a simple farmers market-based approach through which volunteers collect food and monetary donations from market shoppers, buy from the farmers at market, and donate the resulting food to a local hunger relief agency. These Donation Stations can now be found at nearly 40 markets around the state. This incredibly successful effort has allowed fresh food to flow locally and fostered strong community engagement. On average over 93,000 lbs. of fresh produce has been donated to those in need from the Donation Stations alone.
Our second strategy, the Wholesale Market, was born out of requests from our community partners, who were seeking a more sustainable model to buy fresh, local produce. The Wholesale Market purchases food from small to mid-sized farms looking for new markets, and sells it to nonprofits serving low-wealth communities, schools, groceries and other institutions.
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. Currently, our Food Ambassadors focus on providing school students the opportunity to sample fresh food and learn about how it’s grown. Our current plan is to expand this program into a virtual model which can connect more schools with everything from virtual field trips to farms to athletes sharing their passion for nutrition and healthy food options.
Community Foodshare, a neighborhood-based program that brings community members together to receive donations of food from local growers as well as nutrition education, is one of our developing initiatives.
Our new Farmer Fund helps to raises funds for mini grants to farmers which can be used to offset cost for continuing education, equipment and supply purchases in times of need.
Our new cornerstone campaign is called Farmer Fridays and showcases our farms, farmers and markets across the State. We encourage everyone to “Go Green” each Friday by wearing green shirts to show an outward and visible sign of support of local agriculture and buying local across our State.
Together, these strategies provide additional markets for farmers, expand food access for all, and build a community around food.