The Farm2Neighbor program purchases fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers and distributes them to hungry neighbors through local pantries and meal sites.
Make an online donation to the Farm2Neighbor Program today!
Our Farm2Neighbor program began in January 2018 with generous seed capital from local area Rotary clubs and other donors. It arose from our system map that asks the question “What factors affect a food insecure person’s ability to meet their nutrition needs?” Many thanks to Rotary Charities for sponsoring the class to helped us map our system.
Increasing the amount of fresh and healthy food in food pantries was identified as a key leverage point in the system. Leverage points are where you apply a little bit of resources in a system to get a big ripples effect of positive change. In 2020, we completed a Ripple Map evaluation of the Farm2Neighbor program with the help of MSU Extension. We found many positive ripples from this program, including building resiliency in the food system.
Our Farm2Neighbor program feeds people, while it builds community resilience through supporting farmers and the local food system. The program was featured in this article by our partner Groundworks. Click here to read more. The Farm2Neighbor program was also featured in the November 2020 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Click here to read the article on MyNorth.
Farm2Neighbor is also closely tied to nutrition and culinary education in our schools and pantries. The backbone of the program are Harvest of the Month foods from the Farm to School program. We have educational materials on the Harvest of the Month foods that are distributed by pantries to clients. Click here to view an example of the Harvest of the Month on Parsnips! Coming soon we will have educational videos on the Farm2Neighbor foods. We have Recipe Cards available – click here to view!
In 2018 we distributed roughly 8000 lbs of fresh local food from 7 farms.
In 2019 we distributed 16,000 lbs of local food from 12 farms. In 2019, we also received a Assets for Community grants from Rotary Charities to scale up the program and increase regional access to healthy food with our partner, Food Rescue.
Foods purchased have included parsnips, carrots, radishes, turnips, asparagus, tomatoes, green beans, pears, acorn squash, butternut squash, apples, purple and golden beets, cabbage.