Is Local Produce Link Right For You?
Local Produce Link is a successful model with funding from the New York State Department of Health’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP). Successful Local Produce Link farms have a large enough capacity to supply 900 pounds of vegetables per week and are also available for interacting with the community of food pantries and soup kitchens.
Local Product Link has many benefits for the farmer:
- Up front payment in one lump sum similar to Community Supported Agriculture
- Satisfaction that vegetables reach an underserved population with limited access to fresh produce
- Responsibility for only one weekly drop-off
- A Just Food coordinator to facilitate the communication between the farmer and the emergency food program (EFP)
The key responsibilities on the part of the farmer are to provide a specific quantity and variety of vegetables and to communicate with Just Food on a weekly basis concerning the vegetables delivered.
Successful Local Produce Link Farmers:
- Are experienced in growing and marketing diversified vegetables
- Have at least two years of diversified vegetable production experience
- Have a large enough production to be able to provide 900 pounds each week split between three crops (though not necessarily split evenly)
- Will communicate regularly with Just Food and emergency food programs
- Have the capacity to be flexible, see Local Produce Link as a learning process and be able to adapt to changing circumstances
- Are committed to sustainable growing practices. While most Just Food farmers use organic growing methods, we include conventional farmers in our network.
- Provide 900 pounds of produce weekly split between leafy greens, root crops, and seasonal vegetables
- Communicate with Just Food weekly on what crops will be delivered for the week
- Drop off vegetables at the distribution location during the predetermined timeframe
- Provide Just Food with photos and information to create educational materials about the farm
- Meet with EFP in the city during the off-season
- Attend a Meet Your Farmer Event at the beginning of the growing season
- Offer an annual farm visit for EFP staff, volunteers, and guests