WSDA Food Assistance Program
|Washington onions are one of many crops bought |
thanks to the Farm to Food Pantry initiative.
Because of the initiative, Nourish is able to support the Orting farmers by purchasing their food directly. This partnership is mirrored across the state as F2FP continues to grow.
Carrie Little, who manages the farm through the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, says it’s gratifying to “watch these amazing humans get excited about growing food” as they develop solid relationships with organizations that pay them for their products. And, she adds, the farmers love knowing that their food is feeding community members who need it. Nourish is also happy with the arrangement and has earmarked extra funds to buy even more from the Orting operation.
New partnerships like these are making a significant impact. According to the Farm to Food Pantry Annual Report 2020, hunger relief organizations across the state combined grant funds with match dollars to purchase more than 105,000 pounds of produce from 97 farms to feed residents in need across 23 counties in Washington in 2020. Participating farms also donated a whopping 448,153 pounds of surplus produce through Farm to Food Pantry.
With even more funding available this year, thanks to a significant investment from the state legislature, WSDA expects those numbers to continue to grow.Grant applications
The 2022-2023 Farm to Food Pantry grant application is now open. In addition to produce, the initiative will allow purchases of grains, dairy, eggs, and meat during this grant round. Grants will also provide administrative funding to support the coordination of these efforts.
Applications are now being accepted from prospective Farm to Food Pantry regional agencies through November 30. Recipients will receive a biennial allocation, with between $3,500 and $20,000 available from January 1 through June 30, 2022 and between $3,500 and $30,000 from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.
|Washington grown spinach.|
o in a vacuum. WSDA and Harvest Against Hunger provide ongoing support, including monthly cohort meetings for participating organizations as well as technical support and resources, such as the Grower’s Roundtable Kit, a contracting guide and farm contract templates, purchasing calendar template, and fundraising guidance.
By connecting farmers and hunger relief organizations and encouraging community investment, Farm to Food Pantry is meeting key goals of WSDA’s Focus on Food initiative: increasing access to fresh, nutrient-dense foods for people experiencing food insecurity; supporting Washington agriculture; and facilitating connections between food providers and producers at the regional level.
People, no matter what their income, want to know that food grown in their community is feeding the people that live there. This initiative helps make that possible by giving emergency food providers across the state greater flexibility to buy food grown and raised by local farmers. WSDA and HAH are proud to help facilitate these connections.
Apply now to become a regional agency through 2023. Access the grant materials here and contact Maddie Price by email or calling 206-236-0408 x105 with questions about the grant or the Farm to Food Pantry initiative.