Farm to Family Press Conference

Challenge:

California is the nation’s most bountiful agricultural state, however, one in six Californians suffer from food insecurity. The California Association of Food Banks’ Farm to Family program bridges the gap between farmer and person in need of a little help. Nuffer, Smith, Tucker was hired to increase donations of fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers. NST conducted qualitative research through 17 interviews with current, past and potential donors to determine motivators. The research showed that a peer-to-peer strategy was likely to be persuasive, as farmers wanted to know who else in their community donates. NST also identified a desire to make a difference in local communities where farmers lived.

NST developed a yearlong media outreach strategy that included a press conference with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. December 16, 2015 was selected as Farm to Food Bank Day and a press conference was scheduled. Due to the research identifying how best to persuade farmers to increase donations to food banks, the press conference was held in the agricultural city of Fresno and featured current donors who could appeal to their fellow farmers on a peer-to-peer level.

More than a dozen media outlets, plus food bank supporters and farmers, attended the press conference at the Fresno Community Food Bank. California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross spoke at the event, and a variety of Farm to Family supporters provided additional comments and media interviews.

Results:

The event resulted in 25 positive news stories in local and trade media outlets.

Local television alone reached an estimated 400,000 viewers and print coverage reached another quarter-million.

Most importantly, Farm to Family donations increased in the months following the press conference.

In 2015, more than 152 million pounds of food was donated to the California Association of Food Banks.