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Please contact Steve Linkhart, Director of Farm to Family, at (510) 350-9916 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes – no matter how carefully farmers plan – they are faced with surplus product. And sometimes, ordinary people are faced with hard times and struggle to put healthy food on the table.
That’s where Farm to Family steps in. The California Association of Food Banks’ Farm to Family program works with farmers, ranchers, packers and shippers to get California farm products from the field to food banks throughout the state.
Farmers can donate product outright to the association or they can work with Farm to Family to get a modest reimbursement that helps cover harvest and pack out costs. Everyone wins with Farm to Family. Food recipients get nutritious vegetables, fruit, grains, dairy, eggs and meat. Food banks get a variety of healthful products delivered regularly, and farmers have a reliable destination for excess product.
Learn more about Farm to Family by watching the video below.
Alleviating Hunger and Improving Nutrition
Some low-income communities have become "food deserts" with no grocery stores that sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead, many low-income families turn to convenience or fast foods that are cheaper but may lead to diet-related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Farm to Family bridges the gap between our state’s surplus produce and people in need. Started in the late 1990s by San Francisco Food Bank volunteer Gary Maxworthy, the California Association of Food Banks has grown Farm to Family into the nation’s leading produce recovery program.
Gone are the days when California’s food banks could offer only canned and packaged food. While these are still valuable items at our food distributions, today fresh produce accounts for over half of the food distributed by many of our food banks.
From the senior citizen who experiences better health by adding vegetables back into his diet to the child who tastes her first ever bite of a fresh peach, Farm to Family is transforming lives by improving nutrition. And with many of our food banks providing nutrition education together with cooking demonstrations and recipe cards, food bank clients are learning practical ways to bring fresh produce into their diets.
More than 100 growers contribute about 50 varieties of produce to Farm to Family. The result is more than 160 million pounds of California farm products being distributed each year to the California Association of Food Banks’ over 40 member food banks and their network of 6,000 schools, churches, senior centers, soup kitchens and other community venues. See how it works.