In the heart of Kentucky, the Farms to Food Banks (F2FB) program has emerged as a consistent beacon of hope, not only for local farmers struggling with surplus produce but also for families in need of fresh, nutritious options on their plates.
A Glimpse Into the Farms to Food Banks Program
The Farms to Food Banks program stands as a prime example of innovation and collaboration between our agricultural community, our state government and the nonprofit sector. F2FB addresses three pressing issues simultaneously: the financial loss of farmer’s when produce is unmarketable, the epidemic of food waste in the United States and the high rates of food insecurity experienced by Kentuckians. Farmers, often faced with unmarketable produce that would otherwise go to waste in their fields now have an alternative. Rather than discarding their excess or unmarketable produce, they can recoup some of their losses by donating it to food banks, like FAKH. In return, they receive reimbursement that covers harvesting, packing and transportation costs.
Curbing Food Waste
F2FB doesn’t just alleviate hunger – it also addresses the larger issue of food waste. In the United States, a staggering 40% of all food produced ends up in landfills despite over 33 million Americans being food insecure. Food waste is a misuse of valuable resources and hurts our environment. By creating a system for unmarketable and excess produce to be distributed F2FB promotes responsible agricultural practices and fosters collaboration to make a positive impact on our shared communities.
A Nutrient-Rich Solution to Health and Hunger
In Kentucky’s Heartland, 1 in 10 people experience food insecurity. The nutritional value of fresh fruits and vegetables, is vital, especially when considering the health affects of long-term food insecurity. By redistributing produce donated through F2FB, families and individuals grappling with food insecurity have been provided with healthy food to create nutritious meals.
Farms to Food Banks in Action
“It is such an awesome experience to see localized produce going into our communities,” shared Laura Fraliex, FAKH SNAP Coordinator.
In July, 2023 FAKH distributed 312,673 pounds of fresh Kentucky produce through the Farms to Food Banks program.
To learn more about the Farms to Food Banks program or to advocate for this innovative solution to hunger visit www.feedingky.org