Farm to Food Assistance


There has recently been a tremendous growth of programs that aim to address small farm viability and food insecurity by connecting local farms to food access initiatives such as food banks and other grassroots efforts to address hunger. These “farm to food assistance” programs are taking place across the country, with many experiencing growth due to USDA’s recent $900M Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) program. For the last three years, Wallace Center at Winrock International has been working with partners across the country to study and support these efforts.  Read on for a summary of our work in this area and learn what we are planning for 2024 

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.
  • 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 
  • 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
  • LFPA Connections Directory: Enter your contact information here and start connecting with partners and collaborators in your state and region who might also be involved in the LFPA. The directory can be found here.   

Farm to Food Assistance Research

In 2022 the Wallace Center partnered with Duke World Food Policy Center to conduct a survey of over 300 Farm to Food Assistance (F2FA) programs across the country. The goal of the survey was to increase understanding of the impact, challenges, and key elements of the growing field of F2FA. The survey was designed with input from a brilliant group of experts with a range of perspectives on Farm to Food Assistance work to make sure the survey and results were relevant to the people involved in these programs. In summer of 2023 we released a national report capturing initial impacts, trends and recommendations for the USDA LFPA program and presented these findings, along with the stories of program implementers, to key audiences including USDA and Congressional staffers. This infographic represents a distillation key findings from the survey.   

The Farm to Food Assistance Learning Lab is an action learning program that will generate support, coaching and technical assistance for 10 equity-centered F2FA programs across the country. Led by a stellar group of advisors – Allison Cohen, Pakou Hang, Erin Pirro, and Myra Marcellin, the Learning Lab will allow us to generate deep learning and insights into the programs and models of Learning Lab participants. In conjunction with this, we are developing ten narrative case studies to spotlight LFPA programs across the country that are leading collaborative initiatives focused on sustainability and supporting BIPOC and other “socially disadvantaged” farmers. These will be published in 2024. 

Future Plans

In 2024 we will publish a national report that is a culmination of all this quantitative and qualitative research. This report will combine findings from our previous and ongoing research efforts – including an analysis of the national survey, insights from the 2023 LFPA initial impacts report, stories from the LFPA case studies, and insights from the Learning Lab. In January we will bring on a research partner who will also conduct additional research into LFPA programs by surveying and hosting focus groups with members of the Farm to Food Assistance community of practice. This research will focus on capturing:   

  • Successful strategies, tools, and practices for supporting and sustaining equity centered programs,   
  • Best practices for growing collaborative and equitable partnerships across the value chain,   
  • Common challenges and needs of LFPA implementers,  
  • Recommendations for improving the USDA LFPA program and suggestions on how these recommendations can be integrated into other USDA Commodity Procurement programs.  

The final report will be a comprehensive analysis of the landscape of farm to food assistance programs across the United States and will include multiple chapters focused explicitly on LFPA. We are currently recruiting applicants to join our team as a contracted Research Partner to lead this body of work through to the culmination of publishing the final report. If you are interested in learning more, please email [email protected].

2024 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 Miles Gordon and Jen Dalton of Kitchen Table Consulting, LLC in 2024. They’ll curate a series of call topics with F2FA Practitioners sharing with the CoP, develop dynamic virtual calls, and regularly check in with CoP members to ensure this space stays relevant.

Jen Dalton (she/her) and Miles Gordon (he/him) are Kitchen Table Consulting, LLC (KTC), based in rural Mendocino County, CA. Jen and Miles each have deep roots in food systems work, from the field to the table, working in small, local nonprofits to national organizations on programs, policy, advocacy and in community organizing and engagement. Since 2017, they have worked together as facilitators and strategic partners to a variety of local, statewide, and national food systems organizations. As KTC, Jen and Miles work collaboratively with each other, organizations and individuals to offer consulting services on program implementation and the design and facilitation of convenings, conferences, summits, workshops, conversations, and virtual collaborative engagements on a variety of topics including: food policy, farm to school, food hubs, emergency food systems, value chains, storytelling, community and civic engagement.

Jen is a published author and poet, speaking on podcasts and IRL about trauma-informed friendship and girl bullying.

Miles plays guitar and loves to take care of the garden and native plants growing around their home.

Yes, they are also married.

They are currently facilitating a Regional Emergency Food System and LFPA adjacent CoP in Northern California with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. You can learn more about them and their work at

Questions? Email [email protected] with ‘F2FA’ in the subject line.