Harnessing the Generosity of Farmers
Hannah Wallace, Civil Eats
The farm to food bank system in Oregon hits many paying points for CFFP: improved nutrition and health outcomes for low income people, reducing food waste, bridging infrastructure gaps, and more. Within this system, OFB plays a key role in intermediary steps between farm and food bank, providing packaging and transportation that would be otherwise impossible for farmers themselves to provide. Philanthropic or financial involvement in crucial roles like OFB’s would truly be a “systems change” type of investment.
The Oregon Food Bank (OFB) has taken incredible steps towards filling local food banks with local food. What was once one of the most food insecure states in the country now has a food bank system in place that provides access to diverse, nutritious, and fresh products. OFB has achieved this by working with farmers of all sizes across the state. The farmers donate bulk produce, which is transported to food hubs, packaged, and delivered to local food banks – all by OFB volunteers. As highlighted in this article, clients of food banks like SnowCap in Portland can exercise preference, creativity, and personality in their shopping experience that is usually reserved for retail outlets. Similar efforts are occurring in Washington through Farm to Food Pantry.
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