Farm to Food Assistance

The pandemic exposed major issues in the U.S. food system: hunger and food insecurity and the need for stable and lucrative market channels for small farms. Efforts to scale solutions to both these problems have multiplied in the last two years, as food pantries, food banks, state and federal government programs, and mutual aid efforts worked to connect local farms to food access programs. The results are creative, systems level solutions that work for the farmer and for people in need. 

We are building a library of resources related to farm to food assistance value chains. Sort below to explore the library – and click the button at the bottom of this page to submit a resource of your own.

Featured Resources

TitleAuthorSummaryYearTags
How Tennessee Officials Lost Out on Millions in Funding for Farmers and Food BanksCivil Eats

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture missed a USDA LFPA grant deadline to allow food banks to buy from local farmers. Now, the state is looking for ways to make up the …

2024
Ohio LFPA ReportOhio Association of Food Banks

2024
Solicitations Toolkit: How to Develop Successful Values-Driven SolicitationsGood Food Purchasing Program

This Toolkit is designed for institutional food procurement specialists who are already committed to using solicitations to increase their values-based …

2022
EAT Local Foods Act One PagerNSAC

Senator Reed is poised to introduce The EAT Local Foods Act, which would create a permanent formula grant program for state and tribal governments to procure local foods for distribution to community food assistance programs in our state. Modeled after the Biden Administration’s temporary Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA), the EAT Local Foods Act program would help accomplish three main objectives: • Help small local producers access new market opportunities; • Combat food insecurity; and • Strengthen domestic agriculture supply chain …

2024
Iowa’s Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program: Initial Impacts and RecommendationsIowa Valley RC&D

This impact report celebrates early successes, presents measurable impacts of the LFPA, and offers recommendations to sustain and expand this crucial work in the state of Iowa. The impact data and stories shared in this report highlights initial impacts of the program through 2023, and is intended to both inform and inspire, paving the way for innovative opportunities to enhance food access and foster the viability of farmers in …

2024
2023 Wallace Center F2FA InfographicWallace Center

2023
Operationalizing EquitySwette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Arizona State University

This study explores how state governments are using LFPA and LFS funding to develop or advance local food purchasing programs that target socially disadvantaged producers. Tribal governments were also eligible to apply for these programs, however none were engaged for this project, therefore further research is needed to understand program design by Tribal cooperators. Based on findings from a survey and interviews with state agencies, we share examples of how these programs are operationalizing equity in program design, measurement, outreach, and implementation. We discuss how learnings and outcomes can advance equity in state and federal …

2023
Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System 10th EditionMichigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

The annotated bibliography provides current research and outreach on structural racism in the U.S. food system for the food system practitioner, researcher, educator, and advocate. Our intention is to update this resource on a recurring basis. We suggest it be used as a companion resource for training or education sessions on structural racism in the food …

2023, ,
Illinois Local Food Purchasing Assistance Listening Session LearningsUniversity of Illinois Extension

In early 2023, before we started rolling out LFPA, Illinois Extension conducted 30 listening sessions across the state to collect feedback about gaps in our state’s food system and how to best use LFPA funds. Over 300 community members attended the listening sessions, and more than 150 potential partners for LFPA were …

2023
Funding Sources for Food Related Businesses Jamie Rahrig, Rich Pirog, Jazmin Bolan-Williamson, Rachel Kelly, Anel Guel, Nick McCann, Abigail Harper, Evan Kutz, Taylor Wimberg, Emily Kim

The eighth edition of this directory provides an overview of various financing sources available to food-related businesses in Michigan and across the United States. The directory includes sources of national and local finance opportunities that may be available to farmers, food producers, distributors, food hubs, and other food-related businesses. The directory is a partial listing of what may be available across the United States; some examples may not be a good match with your particular circumstances. Initially informed by a list of funding resources for food-related businesses found on the Food+Tech Connect website, a media and research company building a network for food innovators and entrepreneurs, it has been made available by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems to help support local food systems. The directory is divided into four types of funding sources: Crowdfunding Start-up accelerator Miscellaneous Michigan and federal government resources For each funding entity included, details are provided to help guide your decisions: description, funding focus, funding limit, qualifications, geographical region of focus, and website. At the end of the list of funding entities, a selection of resources on writing grant and loan applications is provided. Writing a robust, effective grant and/or loan application can help you successfully obtain the funding you need for your business. Look to the tips provided as you determine which type funding source is right for your …

2023,
Local Farmers Encouraged to Join Wisconsin Food DirectoryVolume One

New (LFPA) program allows farmers to add products to a public directory, support local food access and Wisco farms. The directory allows farmers to create profiles for their farms and list available products and prices determined by the farmers themselves. (Find more information about pricing, payment, and more on this Q&A webpage). In turn, hunger-relief organizations, food and meal programs, institutional and wholesale purchases, and community members can search for producers in their …

2023
Farm to Food Bank- Stopping Food Waste at the SourceHunter College New York City Food Policy Center

A listing of the organizations that are working to reduce the amount of food that is wasted at its origin by purchasing from farmers and redistributing perishable foods such as produce, meat, and dairy products to areas that are in need of …

2021
Yes, Nonprofits, You Can LobbyBolder Advocacy

Getting involved in the legislative process and policy debates is not just an appropriate role for nonprofits—it is vital. If nonprofits aren’t speaking up for their often-vulnerable communities, chances are nobody else is …

What is LobbyingBolder Advocacy

This fact sheet provides an overview of how lobbying is defined for organizations that measure their lobbying under the 501(h) expenditure …

When Does Your Activity Become LobbyingBolder Advocacy

When does the clock start ticking? You must begin measuring your lobbying activity when the primary purpose of your preparation or research is to engage in lobbying …

Using Networks To Build Collaborative and Equitable Food SystemsRich Pirog & Marcus A. Coleman

This brief focuses on local food systems as vehicles for collaboration and racial equity among multiple stakeholders and networks. Local food systems are widely regarded as go-to examples for fostering rural-urban and farmer consumer connections, but they require significant investments in stakeholder networks and the institutional infrastructure necessary to sustain and expand them. Examples of statewide, regional, and national initiatives are given to illustrate the power of networks to foster deeper levels of collaboration and reciprocity. The vital roles of Minority Serving Institutions and Cooperative Extension are …

2023,
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association FarmsSHARE Network MapFarmSHARE

Map of Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, FarmsSHARE Network Map partners from 2022 – the network has grown since …

2022
2023 LAMP Stakeholder ToolkitUSDA AMS

2023 LAMP Stakeholder …

2023
An Oasis in the Desert Walker River Paiute Tribe Builds a Food Pantry in Response to Covid19The Daily Yonder

The Walker River Paiute Tribe in the state of Nevada took action in response to the Covid-19 epidemic. The outbreak was seen by the tribe as both a threat to its very existence and a chance to make use of an unprecedented amount of federal cash for relief efforts in order to build programs that addressed the community’s health, culture, and …

2022,
Oregon Food Bank Receives Grant to Buy from Socially Disadvantaged FarmersPortland Local News

Through the expansion of the Community Grower Support Fund, which buys food directly from socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers (a classification used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to include groups that have experienced systemic racial or ethnic prejudice), grant funds will help local economies. All around the state, these underserved urban, rural, and distant areas receive this locally produced food. Additionally, funds will enhance the infrastructure for storage and transportation, assisting in the long-term development of more durable local food …

2022,
Grow Food Northampton earns money for Farm and Garden redesignThe Reminder

Grow Food and River Valley Co-op are working together to help underprivileged farmers become commercially viable by buying their products, creating marketing strategies, exposing them to new clients, and allowing them to participate as vendors at Grow Food’s farmers markets. According to Klein, “a percentage of the cash that we are receiving is for the purchase of produce and other locally produced products from new and socially underprivileged local farmers.” “Through our no-cost Mobile Market initiative, Grow Food Northampton will give away this food at no cost to community individuals who are struggling with food insecurity. Through their Food For All initiative, River Valley Co-op will give away this free local food to WIC and SNAP recipients in the …

2023,
LFPA Plus GuidanceUSDA

States, territories, and federally recognized tribal governments may apply for additional funding available under LFPA Plus. A complete overview of submission requirements is available in the LFPA Plus Request for …

2023,
List of Signed Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative AgreementsUSDA

This list of entities that have signed Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreements with USDA will be updated as the agreements are …

2022,
LFPA Fact SheetUSDA

USDA-AMS is establishing cooperative agreements with states, territories, and federally recognized tribal governments for the purpose of supporting local, regional, and underserved farmers and producers through food purchases with the LFPA funds. These cooperative agreements will allow recipients to procure local and domestic foods that are unique to their geographic area and meets the needs of their population. Underserved communities will be the priority for distribution of the foods purchased through the …

2022,
LFPA Info GraphicUSDA

Connecting with Underserved Producers, the Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Cooperative Agreement: Empowers states and tribal governments to purchase domestic foods from local, regional, and underserved producers, and helps these producers navigate the procurement …

2022,
Have Local Food Hubs Proved They Should Play a Bigger Role in Emergency Food AidFood Print

Despite the fact that fresh food from small farms is rarely thought of as a reliable source of emergency food help, GrowFood Carolina was one of many food hubs across the nation that was able to move surplus food from farmers to needy people swiftly and effectively. According to data and polls, some supporters argue that the success of these distributors gives the USDA verifiable proof that regional food hubs and small farms can operate within the agency’s guidelines and that, as a result, they should be given more future access to federal food …

2021,
LFPA Quarterly Progress Report SAMPLEHopes Harvest - Farm Fresh Rhode Island

As part of a Farm to Food Assistance Community of Practice conversation, one of our facilitators Eva Agudelo shared the reporting template from USDA. Her program Hopes Harvest, subcontracts with their states (RI) agency, and they are responsible for tracking this data and submitting it to them quarterly. They also have two subcontractors under their award, and they have made copies of this for them to complete on a monthly and quarterly …

2023,
FarmTable 1Fresh Approach

As part of a Farm to Food Assistance Community of Practice conversation, one of our facilitators Andy Ollove shared a draft of what they are proposing in California as way to implement their LFPA. They anticipate most of the food will be allocated to food banks around the state. To engage local farms in every region of the state, they will be issuing contracts to formal and informal food hubs that are aggregating food. These could be non-profits, small food hubs, or farms themselves. The question this begs then is how do you award contracts based on the funding priorities of LFPA? Their solution is to create an open bidding process where potential applications are not measured against each other by price, but by the effectiveness of their value chain in reaching BIPOC growers as well as their ability to deliver food to the desired cultural preferences of their food bank’s community. Here is a draft solicitation. In this document, you will see what contracts look like, how an aggregator can apply, what grading criteria we are assigning, as well as the table for where the aggregator will list their farm info. California’s project will likely not begin until 2023, so they are in the process of gathering feedback from farms and food hubs about this proposed model. Any input is very …

2022,
LFPA Solicitation Application Food Banks 1Fresh Approach

As part of a Farm to Food Assistance Community of Practice conversation, one of our facilitators Andy Ollove shared a draft of what they are proposing in California as way to implement their LFPA. They anticipate most of the food will be allocated to food banks around the state. To engage local farms in every region of the state, they will be issuing contracts to formal and informal food hubs that are aggregating food. These could be non-profits, small food hubs, or farms themselves. The question this begs then is how do you award contracts based on the funding priorities of LFPA? Their solution is to create an open bidding process where potential applications are not measured against each other by price, but by the effectiveness of their value chain in reaching BIPOC growers as well as their ability to deliver food to the desired cultural preferences of their food bank’s community. Here is a draft solicitation. In this document, you will see what contracts look like, how an aggregator can apply, what grading criteria we are assigning, as well as the table for where the aggregator will list their farm info. California’s project will likely not begin until 2023, so they are in the process of gathering feedback from farms and food hubs about this proposed model. Any input is very …

2023,
Listening is the First Step in Serving Native American CommunitiesFood Bank News

This article shares a story about a partnership between Feeding Wisconsin and the Intertribal Ag Council that resulted in the creation of a food box distribution program that provided culturally relevant food to tribal elders. It’s a great example of how relationships between food banks and the communities they serve are crucial to successful and meaningful programs. It mentions Dan Cornelius from IAC, in addition to several other tribal leaders and food bank staff that made it possible. It can be useful when trying to describe the value of partnerships and relationships to meet community needs with …

2022
The Farm to Food Bank Movement Aims to Rescue Small-Scale Farming and Feed the HungryCivil Eats

Many farmers donate farm surpluses to local food banks on a regular basis, but the recent economic downturn shattered the food supply and farm economies, particularly for those reliant on restaurants and institutional consumers. “They need interim markets and help navigating this era and sustaining sustainability for the future,” Emily Moose of the non-profit agricultural organization A Greener World said (AGW). Thiel, like thousands of other small-scale farmers, experienced a complete loss of sales. Then, out of nowhere, he received a paid-in-full order for 500 pounds of potatoes to be delivered to a regional food bank. The Great Potato Drive was the result of a spontaneous community initiative. Thiel has delivered over a ton of potatoes to the food bank since late March, which has then distributed them to 19 food pantries in four rural counties. And, thanks to ongoing private fundraising, he has a weekly standing …

2020
States are Investing in Farm to Food Bank ProgramsFood Print

Farm to food bank (or food pantry) programs have exploded in popularity in states across the country in recent years. Proponents argue that these programs are a no-brainer: they provide healthy food to those in need while also supporting local, in-state farmers. Farmers have long donated to local food banks, but state-funded farm to food bank programs go a step further by providing farmers with financial …

2020
The Farm to Food Pantry Initiative (F2FP)Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)

The F2FP initiative, founded in 2014 as a collaboration between WSDA and Harvest Against Hunger (HAH), helps strengthen community-based food systems while increasing the viability and success of both agricultural producers and hunger relief organizations. Regional agencies are given funds to establish wholesale contracts with local small-scale farmers in order to supply food pantries with nutrient-dense, farm-fresh food. Through monthly group check-in meetings, technical resources for farm contracting, fundraising, and food pantry customer engagement, WSDA and HAH provide programmatic …

2020
Struggling Farmers Work with Overwhelmed Food Banks to Stay AfloatThe Pew Charitable Trusts

Farmers and ranchers in California saw their markets decrease by half as the epidemic shut down eateries this spring, leaving many with fields full of crops but no buyers. As a result of the job losses, the state’s food banks had to treble their food supply. Fortunately for California, the state has a long-running project that was specifically designed to address these two challenges. The California Association of Food Banks’ Farm to Family program, which is funded by the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture, pays farmers to donate surplus produce to food …

2020
Farm to Food Bank a Response to the PandemicAmerican Friends Service Committee

AFSC New Mexico funded 30 small scale sustainable farms with whom we collaborate across the state to help them grow food for people who have the least access. We paid a fair price for over 22,000 pounds of fresh produce and donated it to Roadrunner Food Bank and several food pantries and shelters across the …

2020
Supporting New York Farms and CommunitiesNew York State Department of Agriculture & Markets

The Nourish New York Initiative of New York State is a lifeline for our families and farmers who have been impacted by COVID-19 reforms. This vital program enables those who are food insecure to obtain the nutrition they require while also providing a market for farmers to sell their crops. So far, $85 million has been allocated to the program. The financing will enable New York’s emergency food suppliers to continue purchasing surplus items from New York farmers and dairy producers and delivering them to needy New York families until the end of the …

The Food Sovereignty FundGlynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming

The goal of the Food Sovereignty Fund is to give farmers the tools they need to work with hunger relief projects to get tasty, healthy, and culturally appropriate food grown by local farmers to people who might not have access to it otherwise. Farmers are paid ahead of time by the fund for this food. Farms are matched with community-based hunger relief projects so that the projects can get the locally grown foods that the people they help need and deserve. Technical assistance is given to all FSF participants, whether they are farmers or people who work or volunteer to help fight hunger. The ultimate goal is to improve food sovereignty in the Hudson Valley by giving resources and help to farms run by and serving communities that are too often left out of the local food system. All of the participating farms are led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and …

Farm to Food PantryLift-Up

The growth of the Farm to Food Pantry program during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak last year was a win-win for our community, both economically and in terms of offering healthier food options to individuals struggling with food insecurity. LIFT-UP had tested the waters after years of supporting gleaning during fall harvests, partnerships with farmers’ markets, and a grocery rescue program that received more than 371,000 pounds of fresh produce and dairy in 2019, as well as the funding described above. The initiative Farm to Food Pantry benefited our entire community. This economic structure provided the underserved with increased food options from more suppliers via community food sites such as the LIFT-UP mobile food distribution stations. LIFT-UP offered more consumers with better food options, assisted farmers and ranchers with known paid food purchasing commitments, and maintained its resources in the Roaring Fork valley, regionally, and along …

Vermonters Feeding VermontersVermont Foodbank

Everyone in Vermont should have access to the wealth of fresh, local food in our state. This unique program helps neighbors in need with fresh, local food while bolstering Vermont’s agricultural industry, a pillar of the state’s culture. Prior to the growing season, the Foodbank and farmers agree on a quantity, pricing, and delivery timetable. During harvest season, farmers make consistent delivery to one of our three locations. Through our network of more than 300 community partners and programs like as VeggieVanGo, which provides fresh food deliveries in local communities throughout the state, the Foodbank subsequently distributes the food to individuals facing hunger. The Vermont Foodbank also provides partner food pantries and meal sites with cash to purchase food directly from local farmers in order to assist their …

Mainers Feeding MainersThe Main Food Strategy

In 2010 after a noticeable decline of food bank donations and drop of nutritional value in food being donated, Mainers Feeding Mainers was created. As a result, the organization was able to supply fresh and frozen produce, seafood, dairy, and grain to their network of 400 local partners. The Food Bank has invested nearly $2.7 million in Maine farms since the program’s inception. In 2018, the Food Bank invested $750,000 in Maine’s agricultural …

2019
Duke Why Hunger Survey FindingsDuke World Food Policy Center

Duke World Food Policy Center and Why Hunger infographic report on COVID’s impacts on emergency feeding organizations

2021,
From Food Hubs to CSAsWallace Center

When COVID-19 upended markets in the spring of 2020, many hubs borrowed elements of a Community Supported Agriculture model- which guarantees a market for farmers, provides customers a food box on a regular schedule, and strives to match the needs of farmers and growers. Local food hubs, even those that didn’t run CSAs, were able to collaborate with partners and use these models to manage this massive market …

2020, , , ,
USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program Wallace Center Research Findings and Final ReportWallace Center

Findings and recommendations from Wallace Center led research into local- and regional- sourcing contractors participating in the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program

2020, , , ,

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