There are so many people working towards ending hunger every day – volunteers, food bank staff, food pantries, donors, and more – they all play a crucial role in ensuring our neighbors facing hunger have enough food to eat. But what about the people who grow the food we eat? Does Feeding America work with farmers to help provide food?
Yes, absolutely! Farmers play a critical role in the movement to end hunger. Here are three ways Feeding America works with farmers every day.
Rescuing food and distributing it to our neighbors facing hunger
Sometimes, farmers grow more produce than expected. Instead of discarding that food, Feeding America partners with farmers to deliver that food to local food banks. In fact, Feeding America is the nation’s largest food rescue organization. In 2022 alone, the Feeding America network kept 3.6 billion pounds of good food from the landfill, including nearly 860 million pounds from growers.
Supporting local food systems
Farmers grow food, but they are also an important part of growing and sustaining communities. So, Feeding America works with farmers across the country to source and distribute culturally-preferred food – such as Halal or Kosher food – for people who might otherwise not have access to it. Additionally, Feeding America builds relationships with systemically marginalized farmers and food producers of color – who often face unfair challenges that other farmers do not, like discrimination and inequitable business practices – to help ensure their farms remain vibrant and sustainable for years to come.
Advocating to protect access to nutritious food
Farmers are some of our nation’s strongest advocates for increasing food donations that help support our neighbors facing hunger. Feeding America is proud to advocate alongside farmers to help strengthen federal nutrition programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). And this year, farmers will be a crucial ally as the Farm Bill – federal legislation that sets policy for SNAP, TEFAP, and farming – will be up for renewal.