PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Farm Share alleviates hunger in Florida by acquiring surplus produce that does not meet market standards because of size or minor imperfections from Florida’s farmers and distributing the produce and other donated goods to families in need throughout Florida. Last year, Farm Share distributed over 104 million pounds of food to individuals and families in need across the state of Florida. Since inception, Farm Share has distributed 706,952,779 million pounds of food to Florida residents in need.
Farm Share also administers the USDA TEFAP commodity program in Miami-Dade, Monroe, Duval, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Nassau, Union, Alachua, Levy, Flagler, Putnam, and St. John counties. The TEFAP program provides canned, shelf-stable goods, and frozen foods for low-income households. These foods supplement Farm Share’s produce recovery program
Farm Share's Food Recovery & Distribution Program
Farm Share’s main objective is to recover and distribute surplus fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables. Farm Share recovers fresh produce in bulk (tractor-trailer loads, bins, boxes and hoppers). The produce is washed, sorted, packed by volunteers and inmate labor and distributed locally, statewide, and to a network of participating social service agencies serving the homeless and low-income households throughout Florida.
Farm Share distributes food to the community through its expansive network of over 2,000 non-profit agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters, churches, and senior centers across the state of Florida, free of charge. Farm Share has four facilities open Monday through Friday for non-profit agencies to come and pick up food. By providing food free of charge, Farm Share reduces the start-up costs and operational costs associated with starting food distribution programs within communities. Following this model, Farm Share has empowered thousands of organizations to create food distribution programs in their neighborhoods – increasing access to fresh food one neighborhood at a time.
In addition to Farm Share’s expansive agency network, Farm Share also has agreements with over 25 large-scale agencies located across the state of Florida. These large-scale agencies have the capacity to store and distribute over 35,000 pounds of food at a time. Our relationships with these large-scale agencies allow us to reach beyond the communities surrounding our four facilities – bringing Farm Share food to numerous Florida communities on a regular basis.
During direct-community distributions, Farm Share loads up its signature semi-trucks or box trucks and sets off to distribute food directly to communities in need, free of charge, as requested by community leaders and organizations. During Farm Share direct-community distributions, hundreds of families are provided 25 – 30 lbs. of food. These distributions are positive events often featuring community leaders, music, and other community resources. These events provide opportunities for positive interactions amongst community members, Farm Share, and various organizations.
Do you want to bring Farm Share’s Big Red Truck to your community? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Understanding the unique challenges faced by Florida’s seniors, Farm Share tries to find efficient ways to increase access to nutritious food in senior communities. Lack of transportation and limited mobility are often barriers to participating in Farm Share events. To reduce these barriers, Farm Share brings food directly to senior housing communities. Bringing food directly to these communities allows the seniors to participate without having to travel.
Law Enforcement Distribution
The connection between hunger and crime is well documented. Hunger often leads to poor performance in school and lowers a child’s chances of leading a successful life and breaking the cycle of poverty. The Obama administration has expressed the need to support community-oriented policing in the United States. Farm Share’s participation in various law enforcement sponsored food distributions:
1) provide nutritious food, including vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, to families in need
2) and supports community-oriented policing by helping local law enforcement agencies in the planning and execution of direct-community distributions in the neighborhoods they serve.
Helping law enforcement agencies distribute food in an efficient and orderly manner ensures law enforcement officers have ample opportunity to talk with community members to understand their needs. This allows law enforcement officers to play a positive role in the community, which, ultimately, improves the relationships between law enforcement officers and community members.
"Food Desert" Distribution
Farm Share has received a grant under the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program to launch Farm Share’s Local Food Distribution and Education Program. Under Farm Share’s new program, Farm Share will distribute local food over the course of one year to two select food deserts beginning January 2016. This program seeks to bring local food to targeted food deserts, provide healthy recipes to help families use the food received, and provide information about Florida’s local agricultural system.
While farmworkers play a critical role in Florida’s fresh vegetable industry, farmworkers often suffer from food insecurity. When Florida’s agricultural sector suffers devastation as the result of a weather-related event or pest infestation, farmworkers are often the hardest hit segment of the agricultural industry. Farm Share partners with numerous organizations to distribute food to farmworkers and to host direct-community distributions within farmworker housing communities.