Farm to Community

"The local, fresh produce from our farms is so much fresher and more nutritious than what they normally get. At least one of our families has commented that it's like Christmas whenever they get a food delivery."
Amber Kim
Nouri

Farm to Community (F2C) encompasses multiple projects in Washington State that follow the shared model of funding for food assistance organizations to purchase produce directly from local small-scale farms. Operating across different scales, partners, and funding sources, King County Farmer’s Share, Farm to Food Pantry, and the Growing for Good partnership with PCC Markets and Neighborhood Farmers Markets all work under the Farm to Community umbrella to help reduce hunger, support small farm economies, prevent food waste, and increase access to healthy, local produce through networks of farms, food banks, meals programs, and volunteers throughout the state. Purchasing directly from local farmers allows for not only healthier, more diverse food options for people facing food insecurity, but helps these farms to prosper and create relationships within their communities, as they do not have to rely solely on being able to donate produce.

Harvest Against Hunger began working with these programs in 2014 with the creation of Farm to Food Pantry and added KCFS in 2019. PCC/NFM launched a partnership in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising levels of food insecurity across the nation. Farm to Community unifies common elements of these three programs to increase their effectiveness, efficiency, and create sustainable, resilient networks that will allow organizations to better provide solutions for hunger.  We also work with many F2C partners through our Harvest VISTA program to build capacity and relationships with farms, volunteers, and other community organizations in their local areas.

Follow the links below to find more information about each of these specific projects and what they are doing in communities across Washington.

Program Contact: Maddie Price, Farm to Community Program Manager, maddie@harvestagainsthunger.org

Goals

Farm to Community works to understand and build local food economies, to provide more impactful and sustainable food access for everyone in our community. We help foster direct relationships between growers and food access networks, be it food banks, local farmers markets, or other grocery sources in areas with unreliable access to fresh produce. Creating sustainable systems that allow people, regardless of income, to get high-quality food they want and need for their families is essential now more than ever as we navigate how to respond to emergencies like COVID-19 and climate change that strain our ability to provide food.

These programs work to address sustainability with the three-pillar approach:

  1. Economic (financially supporting small family-owned farms)
  2. Environmental (reducing food waste and food miles; supporting small-scale, often organic and regenerative agriculture)
  3. Social (establishing robust, diversified partnerships and short supply chains)

Benefits to farmers:

  • – Fosters direct relationships, helping to embed small farms within community networks
  • – Provides reliable income with pre-harvest contract models
  • – Reduces waste
  • – Aids the growth of regional food systems
  • – Increases name recognition
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Number of Participating Farms (2021)

Benefits to hunger relief organizations:

  • – Access to fresh, nutrient-dense produce which might otherwise be unavailable
  • – Greater variety and quantity of produce
  • – Supports sustainable produce purchasing and gleaning programs
  • – Food distribution centers can pursue purchasing contract models that work best for them
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Number of Food Distributors

2022 Farm to Community Locations

"Money from KCFS helped many of our customers, as during the busiest year we've ever faced, we were able to provide more culturally relevant food to our community to help feed families nutritious, local food."
Mara Bernard
White Center Food Bank