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Fresh Produce for all: Connecting small local farmers and food banks – Public Health Insider

Official insights from Public Health – Seattle & King County staff
Food assistance organizations and farmers are changing the expectations of “emergency food” to provide the types of food people need most. And Public Health Seattle & King County is helping fund those connections. Through PHSKC’s support of the King County Farmers Share, run by Harvest Against Hunger, and Growing for Good, run by Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, 76 small-scale local farmers are growing fresh, high-quality, culturally relevant produce to sell to 39 local food assistance organizations. In addition, twelve South King County food banks have banded together through Elk Run Farm to bring fresh farm produce to their customers.
Through Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance’s Growing for Good program, White Center Food Bank partnered with Kirsop Farm to purchase whole chickens and fresh produce like green and red napa cabbage in the Summer of 2022.
“Buying from local farmers allows us to provide high-quality foods,” White Center Food Bank Executive Director Carmen Smith said. “Just because you come to the food banks doesn’t mean you get the bottom of the barrel. Everyone deserves access to high-quality food.”

“Relationships with local growers are an important way to increase the amount of available produce in the food banks and support local growers in King County,” Program Coordinator for the South King County Food Coalition Maggie Rickman said. The coalition received funds through Harvest Against Hunger to purchase produce for its 12-member food banks. As a result, during the 2022 growing season, three local farmers have delivered a large variety of produce – including collard greens, amaranth, basil, beets, cilantro, dill, green beans, spicy peppers, leeks, radicchio, fennel, and corn.
Originally published December 23, 2022

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