There are lots of exciting efforts underway that build resilience and food sovereignty by connecting farmers and their local produced food with community members struggling with food insecurity. The gap between local and regional food systems and the charitable food system is narrowing – as we collectively seek to address upstream causes of community food insecurity, and incentivized through new funding streams like the Local Food Promotion Assistance Cooperative Agreement (LFPA).
The Food Systems Leadership Network is here to help! We are hoping to strengthen Farm to Food Assistance (F2FA) value chains by connecting the people that work in them to share ideas and best practices, providing technical assistance services, and creating a forum for joint problem solving.
If you are working on a community-based solution that pays farmers a fair price for their product, while also making healthy food more affordable or free to underserved communities, take a look at the resources and connection opportunities below!
How to get involved
- Follow along with the F2FA Learning Lab, a small cohort of organizations implementing F2FA programming that will share learnings and best practices, be connected with technical advisors, and access financial resources to help them sustain their efforts.
- Check out the Farm to Food Assistance Resource Library. And add your own resources to the library by submitting them here.
- F2FA Discussion Group: Connect with other people working on F2FA value chains across the nation. Use the F2FA Discussion Group to share news, resources, best practices, and work through common challenges related to F2FA programming. (To leave comments, you will need to login or register for an FSLN account at www.foodsystemsleadershipnetwork.org/register.)
- F2FA Community of Practice (CoP) Calls: Join our monthly CoP calls, facilitated in partnership with Eva Agudelo and Andy Ollove. These calls occur on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 12:00 pm PT/ 2:00 pm CT/ 3:00 pm ET and will provide you with a virtual space to connect with others, gain practical skills, and troubleshoot challenges. Register here!
Community of Practice Facilitators
The best way to connect with these offerings is through our Community of Practice. We will be hosting monthly calls and sharing questions and resources in the F2FA discussion group. We are doing this work in close partnership with our two CoP Facilitators, Andy Ollove and Eva Agudelo, who will help guide the calls, answer questions, and share their expertise to ensure our content is relevant and connected to your work on the ground. Both experienced facilitators are deeply involved in the LFPA implementation in their states (CA & RI) and will bring their knowledge and perspective to the calls.
Andy Ollove (he/him) is the Food Access Program Director at Fresh Approach. Andy has been working to build resilient food systems since 2014. In that time, he has been particularly focused on increasing the linkages between small-scale, mission-driven farms to communities who have historically been denied access to healthy food landscapes. Andy has developed unique program interventions around the country, he has worked with corner store owners in the Bronx, food pantries in Brooklyn, gas stations in the Navajo Nation, farmers’ markets in Mexico, and cooperatives in rural Maine. He currently leads food access work at Fresh Approach.
Eva Agudelo (she/her) has worked with beginning farmers, restaurants, retailers, farmers markets, nonprofits, and hunger relief agencies to improve community food security and bring about a food system that works for everyone. Eva started the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative through the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project; served as a GusNIP program officer at Wholesome Wave, supporting incentive programs at farmers markets across the US; and was the Assistant Director of Programs at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, administering federal nutrition programs and supporting Rhode Island’s network of food pantries. In 2018, Eva founded the nonprofit Hope’s Harvest, which is now a program of Farm Fresh RI, which mobilizes volunteers to rescue food from local farms that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to local hunger relief agencies.
Questions? Email [email protected] with ‘F2FA’ in the subject line.