Farms to Food Banks Program Overview
Providing fresh produce is a key part of our commitment to fighting hunger in Kentucky. 91% of households served by our members purchase unhealthy but inexpensive food as a coping strategy to keep food on the table. It should come as no surprise, then, that many are also struggling with chronic health issues such as diabetes (41%) and high blood pressure (65%). The Farms to Food Banks program allows us to distribute a wide variety of nutritious local food to our neighbors at risk of hunger.
Farms to Food Banks funds are used to help farmers recoup losses for produce that would otherwise not be sold because of cosmetic imperfections or overproduction. The produce is distributed to hungry Kentuckians throughout the state through the KAFB network. This is fresh, healthy food that would otherwise go to waste.
Click here for a program flier.
Click here to read our Farmer Spotlights.
Farmers interested in enrolling in the program, click here for more information.
Since 2011, over 15 million pounds of fresh produce from over 800 farmers in 85 counties has been distributed to hungry Kentuckians in all 120 counties.
Click here to see the Impact Report summary for 2017.
Benefits to consumers 2017: Hungry Kentuckians in all 120 counties benefited from increased access to 28 types of fresh produce. All 7 of our member food banks and 491 of their partner agencies (plus 66 mobile pantries) received produce for distribution. Enough produce was distributed to fill half a plate full of fruits and vegetables for 6,017,000 meals.
Benefits to Kentucky farmers 2017: 390 Kentucky farmers from 66 counties participated in 2016. These producers benefitted from increased cash flow and reduced losses through a new market for surplus and Number 2-grade produce. The average amount paid to producers was $1,700; nine farm families received $10,000 or more.
Benefits to Kentucky’s food system 2017: The amount of wasted food in Kentucky was reduced. In 2017, we distributed 3,610,000 pounds of fresh produce that otherwise likely would have been plowed under because of a lack of a market for it. Less than 1% of the produce was lost to spoilage before distribution, which demonstrates the efficiency of the food bank distribution system.
The Farms to Food Banks program was developed by KAFB member God’s Pantry Food Bank and implemented in its Eastern Kentucky service area in 2009 and 2010. KAFB has been implementing the program statewide since 2011. Since 2011, over 11 million pounds of fresh produce from over 800 farmers in 85 counties has been distributed to hungry Kentuckians in all 120 counties.
To learn more, contact us.