Food insecurity and waste are both major issues impacting Bucks County and beyond. There are over 63,000 residents of Bucks County who are hungry or food insecure, including many children (1). When these residents frequent a local food pantry, they often receive packaged and canned goods, local fresh fruits and vegetables can be hard to come by. And yet, 31% of food is wasted (2), especially fresh produce.
BCFA had a solution to this problem: bring back our Feed a Family Support a Family Farm initiative in 2022. The program purchases excess produce directly from farmers at the end of a farmers market and delivers it to local food pantries. Thanks to a grant from Burpee, donations, and BCFA memberships, over $4,000 worth of excess produce was purchased from local farmers at Doylestown and Wrightstown Farmers Markets and donated to local food pantries.
The program was a huge success. Over the course of 16 weeks, more than 925 lbs of produce was purchased directly from local farmers and taken to three Bucks County food pantries by BCFA volunteers. It is estimated that over 2,100 people enjoyed the local food. Fresh produce is not always available at food pantries but is always appreciated for its taste and nutritive benefits. Each week’s donations included the freshest fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli, onions, and zucchini.
“The program was a win-win! We were able to support farmers and reduce waste by purchasing veggies directly from farmers and then share with members of our community” says Susan Pierson, President of BCFA.
In addition to the free produce, families also received a helpful nutrition, storage and recipe guide specific to each week’s vegetables, as well as information about using SNAP benefits at the Markets. You can read the helpful handouts here.
Food pantry contacts were very grateful for the donations, stating, “it was an incredibly helpful program and the families loved it and appreciated the recipe handouts.” Penndel Food Pantry serves over 130 individuals per week.
The following farms were supported in this program:
- Bedminster Orchard (Doylestown Farmers Market)
- Blooming Glen Farm (Wrightstown Farmers Market Farmers)
- Community Baptist Church (Wrightstown Farmers Market Farmers)
- Love Grows farm (Doylestown Farmers Market)
- Milk House Farm Market (Wrightstown Farmers Market Farmers)
- Pan’s Forest (Doylestown Farmers Market)
- Rolling Hills Farm (Wrightstown Farmers Market Farmers)
- Roots to River Farm (Wrightstown Farmers Market Farmers)
- Solebury Orchards (Wrightstown Farmers Market Farmers)
- Solly’s Farm (Wrightstown Farmers Market Farmers)
- Spring Creek Farm (Doylestown Farmers Market)
- Trauger’s Farm (Doylestown Farmers Market)
Bucks County Food Pantries Supported:
- Grundy Hall
- Penndel Food Pantry
- A Woman’s Place
BCFA aims to expand local food access to everyone! All farmers at the Doylestown and Wrightstown Farmers Markets accept SNAP benefits, and for a limited time, BCFA is matching $2 for every $5 spent through SNAP.
If you would like to contribute to BCFA’s programs, please donate on our website.