From Farm to Shelf: How California Farmers Support Food Banks
The holiday giving season is ramping up. Businesses are beginning seasonal donations and individuals are continuing their holiday giving traditions. And while the spirit of the season can be one of inspiration, it’s important to remember the needs that exist in our community throughout the year.
This week, Uber is partnering with the San Diego Food Bank to pick up canned goods and non-perishables from San Diegans, serving as a delivery and donation system for the food bank. It’s a tradition that Uber has started in San Diego, but the business also partners with various nonprofits throughout the year.
On a bigger scale, food banks throughout California work with farmers to get produce to people in need through the Farm to Family program. Operated by the California Association of Food Banks, the statewide program recruits farmers and ships their surplus produce and farm products directly from the fields or packinghouses to 43 member food banks across the state.
Food allocated to the Farm to Family program helps provide a solution for individuals, families and children to alleviate hunger, and ultimately strengthens communities. More than 100 California growers and farmers are already participating in the program providing more than 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables.
NST helps raise awareness of the Farm to Family program through outreach to farmers and trade media. Informing California farmers about the program and its impact on local food banks is crucial to continue program growth.
In December, the California Department of Food and Agriculture will celebrate Farm to Food Bank month to focus and thank agriculture’s commitment to alleviate hunger statewide. Farm to Food Bank Month is a reminder of the important contributions from farmers and ranchers to families in need.
Besides robust agricultural programs like Farm to Family, anyone can contribute to his or her local food bank at any time throughout the year. Visit your local food bank’s website for information on food needs and volunteers, and consider picking a time off-season to contribute.