Feed the Need
One of the many things we are quickly learning from the COVID-19 pandemic is how vulnerable our regional food supply chain is. All across the nation, as well as right here in our Chesapeake region communities, we see empty grocery shelves, ag producers losing their wholesale revenues, closed restaurants, and the shut-down of some farmers markets. The result? Consumers and local food banks and pantries are turning to farmers now more than ever in search of healthy and nutritious food.
“Donations at the Maryland Food Bank are down 90%. The need among our partners has increased 50 – 70%. We are projected to spend $12 million in the first 90 days of this pandemic to try and meet this increased need for food. At the Maryland Food Bank, we place a large emphasis on distributing healthy foods which includes local produce to the food insecure residents across Maryland. Thus, we welcome with open arms any fresh produce donations at our three locations and various partners.”- Amy Cawley, Farm to Food Coordinator, Maryland Food Bank
Future Harvest recognizes the incredibly important role that our farmers play when times are good, and especially now, when times are rough. Whether they are in the cities, the suburbs, or rural areas, our farmers are resilient. They are rising to the occasion to feed and sustain the region with fresh, healthy, and local food. They are our second line of defense; they are the heroes and sheroes we champion. We must support them now as they feed our communities!
The Future Harvest “Feed the Need” Fund was created to help farmers weather market changes caused by the pandemic and provide food access in a variety of ways. Future Harvest will raise funds to provide cash mini-grants to farmers, ranging from $500-$5000, to help them address food access in our communities. From activities like sliding scales on CSA orders and home deliveries to providing produce to local food banks and pantries, grant award recipients will have the flexibility to participate in this effort using the tools and means that work best for them to help others. During our application period, which closed July 15, 2021, we received funding requests totalling more than $200,000.
We are excited about this campaign and the role we all can play in reducing hunger. Join us by donating to the Future Harvest Feed the Need Fund to help us continue to award grants.
Tell your friends and families. Let them know that they can support a regional food economy by ensuring that our farmers have the resources necessary to meet the increased demands for fresh, healthy local food and to help reduce hunger in our communities. Please help us in our efforts and make a donation today. Our farmers are counting on you, and we cannot afford to let them down.