Nutrition Access Report

This article was originally published in September 2021

Some of PCC’s community partnerships are clearly visible when loads of fresh asparagus, berries and other seasonal crops from local farmers arrive at our partner food banks. Other key links, though, are behind the scenes.

At a virtual “meet and greet” with PCC board members, we’re looking forward to showcasing an invaluable partner. Join us Oct. 18 to hear from Harvest Against Hunger, a nonprofit agency whose administrative and practical supports help this farm-to-food-bank program succeed.

Originally founded in 1982 as Operation First Harvest (later Rotary First Harvest), the nonprofit began by encouraging backyard gardeners to grow extra produce for organizations that fed hungry people. Today it fights both hunger and food waste, connecting farmers, transportation providers, produce packers, volunteers and hunger relief agencies.

The PCC partnership began last year during the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, when demand was rising at area food banks while farmers were unable to sell produce at farmers markets or to their usual restaurant customers. Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets, with funds from PCC’s member-supported food bank program, bought produce from farmers for member food banks. The program supported 15 food banks and 14 Washington farms and continues to grow.

Harvest Against Hunger had a well-established structure in place connecting farmers to food banks. It was already experienced at working with county and city agencies, and was able to manage contracts, handle delivery problems, and oversee other essential practical work. It added new tools to ensure equity, considering issues from the diverse backgrounds of partner farmers to the nutritional density of the foods.

“They understand the food bank, they understand the farmers’ needs, they understand what is needed in the middle to provide support on both sides,” said Rachel Tefft, PCC’s community nutrition program manager.

To learn more, RSVP for the virtual board meet and greet here.

Also in this issue

News Bites

Dairy-free delivery • Dropping dicamba plans • Language and biodiversity • Rising avocado demand • Pioneering farmer dies • Mechanical pollination • Salmonella outbreak report • Farmworker dangers • Butterfly conservation • Fossil fuel divestment • Organic Center calculator • Chemicals in cosmetics • Pongamia tree oil • Wine and yeast • Manatee deaths • Functional food sales

Reclaiming land by growing Native foods

Victoria Plumage’s goal: Growing native plants to make them more accessible to Native people living in Seattle. “It’s about food, and our traditional medicines—about so many things that people don’t realize are connected to plants.”

Sustainable living with The Zero-Waste Chef

Anne-Marie Bonneau, “The Zero-Waste Chef,” has practical advice and lots of inspiration for reducing plastic and food waste. Check out her tips and a classic zero-waste recipe.