The South King County Food Coalition acknowledges that emergency food is just one piece of the broader food system. Relationships with local growers are an important way to both increase the amount of available produce in the food banks and support local growers in King County.
Through a partnership with Rotary First Harvest, the coalition is piloting the WSDA's Farm to Food Pantry program in 2018 where coalition staff purchases vegetables directly from farmers in South King County and brings that extraordinary produce to member food banks for distribution.
According to Rotary First Harvest, "Results from previous seasons indicate that purchasing directly from a local farmer will increase the sale of local crops while improving access to healthier food choices for hungry families. In addition, buying produce directly from the farmers dramatically strengthens the bond between farmer and food bank." These relationships are key to strengthening the local food economy and increasing access to the best possible produce in the food banks.
The coalition is contracted with two local farms in 2018 to purchase produce for its member food bank:
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