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"Local Funds for Local Food to Meet Local Need"
Farmer Foodshare seeks to end hunger, malnutrition and poverty in North Carolina by providing fresh locally grown food to people at risk for hunger, while also supporting farmers and enhancing community economic development.
Farmer Foodshare programs act as a source of community innovation to incubate self-sustaining projects that address poverty, hunger and farm loss. We work with community partners to build an inclusive, economically viable and socially just local food system in North Carolina.
We have four program areas: Farmers’ Market Donation Stations, Farm to Community Afterschool, Gardenshare and "Pennies on the Pound."
Donation Stations: Raise local funds at farmers’ markets to buy top-quality fresh local food for people at risk for hunger. Shoppers buy food from farmers and donate it, or give cash and we buy and donate on their behalf. Farmers also donate excess food. Current programs are running at Farmers’ Markets in Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Cary, Fearrington and Shelby. (Durham will be launching soon.) Since its founding at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market in May 2009, the program has raised over 20 tons of fresh food for over 16 nonprofit organizations serving the hungry in five NC counties.
Farm to Community Afterschool: Provides children at risk for hunger with a weekly supply of nutritious locally grown food. The Farm to Community Afterschool program alleviates hunger, while fostering in the children a lifelong love of fresh healthy food and respect for farming. Two pilot programs, with partners in Chatham County (Fuel Up!) and Orange County (TABLE), have provided over a ton of fresh local food to K-5 children at risk for hunger. Children at TABLE recently voted for "more broccoli from the farmers" for next year’s snacks.
Gardenshare: Starts community gardens at Donation Station recipient organizations using plants and expertise from farmers' markets. Program goal is to help recipients grow a percentage of their food from their garden. Gardenshare programs teach marketable skills.
Pennies on the Pound: Develops social enterprise projects designed to recover lost revenue for farmers from food that would otherwise be donated or gleaned. "Pennies on the Pound" projects capture lost "pennies" for farmers, while directing "pounds" of food toward access programs that serve the hungry. A sample project would be a mobile cart from a farmers’ market that would serve nearby low-income communities without fresh food access. We are currently raising funds, assessing a range of pilot projects, building business and farmer partnerships, and researching market viability and business models.