Nutrition Access Report

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.

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