Farm to Food Bank Produce Program
WHAT IS THE FARM TO FOOD BANK PROGRAM?
The Farm To Food Bank Program engages a network of farms across the state in a partnership to provide hungry Southeast Missourians with fresh, local produce. Through produce donations, these farms help us supply good, nutritious food to food-insecure communities across Southeast Missouri.
HOW DOES THE FARM TO FOOD BANK PROGRAM WORK?
We have designed our Farm to Food Bank Program to make it easy for local farmers to donate produce to hungry Southeast Missourians. Participating farmers have access to food bank resources and can call upon our team to pick up donated produce at any time.
A healthy diet - abundant in fruits and vegetables, introduced in childhood is not only vital for healthy growth and development in children but helps prevent diet-related diseases in adult life. The relatively higher price of fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables acts as a barrier to consuming a healthy diet especially for low income families.
Fresh produce represents the most nutritious potential food source for fighting hunger. It is among the items most frequently requested by our clients (70%) and moves quickly out of our distribution center.
Produce donations are challenging to secure – much of this is due to cost and large quantity needed.
Through the Farm to Food Bank program, the Southeast Missouri Food Bank develops reliable local food channels to help feed Southeast Missouri’s hungry while supporting local Missouri food growers and producers.
How You Can Help
We accept nutritious products that are:
- Excess • Nearly overripe • Unsalable
- Distressed • Processed • Blemished • Short coded
- Misshapen Number 2 grade produce (perfectly edible, but not sellable at retail)
Plant an extra row or two in your crop fields or vegetable gardens dedicated to feeding your neighbors!
We can partner you with local agencies who will pick up smaller donations such as excess shares at your farm.
The Southeast Missouri Food Bank provides a bottom line business solution. We offer:
- Product pickup using refrigerated equipment
- Receipts for potential tax deductions
- Reduction of costs associated with storage, transport and disposal of edible produce
- Waste minimization and assistance with sustainability
HOW DO WE DISTRIBUTE FRESH PRODUCE?
Once the produce is in our care, we mobilize our partners and programs to make sure that we get it to hungry Southeast Missourians while it’s still fresh! Here’s how:
- Our 180 network partners – Soup kitchens, pantries and shelters, work with us to serve thousands of people each day.
- Our Truck to Table Mobile Food Pantries – In fiscal year 2015, 30 percent of the food distributed to underserved areas in Southeast Missouri through our Mobile Pantries came from produce donations.
Farmers interested in partnering with the Southeast Missouri Food Bank can contact Mike Smith (Food Acquisition and Distribution Manager) 573-475-7570 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on this program, click here: Farm to Food Bank Fact Sheet