Farm-to-Hunger Relief Programs: Farm Visibility & Recognition
After beginning a relationship with a small local farm, it is recommended that a hunger relief organization (HRO) spend some time to develop messaging and outreach materials to thank the partner farm for their hard work and contributions to the HRO and local food access. These actions not only give a show of thanks to the farms, but can also enhance their market visibility by introducing them to a wider potential customer base, especially if most of their sales are through direct marketing (farm stands, farmers markets, CSAs). Additional, greater visibility of the farmer relationship will make the farm-to-hunger relief program more concrete to stakeholders, which can help garner financial support for the program to ensure a fair purchasing relationship in the long-term.
Consider the following ideas:
GROWER APPRECIATION CARDS
These allow the HRO to collect messages directly from their patrons for the farm, as well as feedback on favorite and additionally desired produce.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHTS
See this example from F2FP partner Kitsap Conservation District; this highlights not only the farm and their motivations for participating in the program, but other markets that people can buy their produce from.
Where farm produce is displayed within a food bank or served in a meals program, post signage noting the source farm and markets where they can also purchase the farm’s produce from using SNAP.
Recipe cards for food bank users to take can serve to introduce them to less familiar produce with basic storage and preparation instructions, and can even include favorite recipes of the farmer that grew that produce.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT IN NEWSLETTERS AND FUNDRAISERS
Show stakeholders that the farm is a valued partner in the success of the HRO and the valued role the local farm economy can play in hunger relief work.