Strategies for success to start and sustain food bank gardens and farms.
The Farm to Food Pantry Program has enabled the Clark County Food Bank to create different kinds of connections with growers, as well as helping to to increase the variety of produce they provide.
Hundreds of volunteers harvest 35,000 - 50,000 lbs of food every year.
The Thurston County Food Bank partners with The Kiwanis Club of Olympia to run a successful garden program that produces 40,000 lbs of food every year!
Pierce County is fortunate to have a Share the Harvest Program coordinator that works with the Tacoma/Pierce County Community Gardens. The program is focused on establishing a culture of sharing between urban gardens and the emergency food network.
Don’t underestimate what a backyard garden or community garden plot can grow! Encourage residential or community gardens to participate in the gleaning program by donating excess produce or a plot.
In a heavily urbanized area such as south King County, the potential for on farm gleans is somewhat diminished. However, there is a growing interest from some of the coalition’s food banks to develop community gardens and small farms that produce a portion of their food for consumption by food bank clients.
Growing vegetables for a food bank is different than growing vegetables for anyone else, especially in regards to variety and quantity.