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 Harvest Against Hunger (formerly Rotary First Harvest), the coalition began piloting the WSDA's Farm to Food Pantry program in 2018 where coalition staff contracted directly from farmers in South King County to purchase vegetables and bring that extraordinary produce to member food banks for distribution.
According to Harvest Against Hunger, "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.
In 2019, the program adopted a new name (King County Farmers Share) but continues to be a fruitful partnership between the coalition, Harvest Against Hunger, and several wonderful farmers in South King County.
The coalition is continuing the program in 2021 and is currently with with these local farms to purchase produce:
Windy Acre Farm (located in Kent)
Faith Beyond Farm (Located in Enumclaw)
Namuna Growers (located in Kent)