Farm to Food Bank to Family

Feb 20 2014

By the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Farm to Food Bank to Family, a new initiative of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, is asking farmers in Berkshire,
Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties to plant a quarter acre or more of land to provide our neighbors in
need of food assistance with fresh, local produce. You can help supply fresh, nutritious food through a combination of
field-gleanings, donations and contract growing.

The Food Bank of Western Mass is fortunate to be surrounded by a thriving agricultural community. Many local farmers
already donate generously to The Food Bank. The Food Bank always welcomes outright donations directly. One of our
goals is to provide more nutritious food for families in need – and nothing fits the bill better than fresh local produce.
With this new initiative, farmers dedicate a quarter acre of land (or more) for one of The Food Bank’s target crops including
potatoes, winter squash, onions, apples, carrots, cabbage or sweet potatoes. Each participating farm will receive
display (to be created) that will demonstrate to the community their commitment to The Food Bank and will be listed on
our website.

There are two options for harvesting:
A. The Food Bank will coordinate volunteers to harvest the crop at the right time, and transport the produce back to
our facility in Hatfield for processing.
B. The Food Bank will pay a Pick and Pack Out fee (PPO) to help offset the costs of the farmer to harvest and package
materials used. Either the farmer or The Food Bank transports the produce to our warehouse in Hatfield, MA. The
amount of the PPO fee is negotiated, depending on a variety of factors.

In 2013, The Food Bank distributed more than 8 million pounds of food, including 1 million pounds of produce, to more
than 200,000 individuals, a number that has more than doubled in 5 years. As the demand for food assistance continues to
rise, we need more community support than ever before. We are reaching out to our neighbors for our neighbors in need.
If you are interested in participating in the Farm to Food Bank to Family initiative, please contact Lisa Limont, Food
Sourcing Coordinator, at lisal@foodbankwma.

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