As farmers across Kentucky gear up for growing season, the Farms to Food Banks program is already getting calls from some who are interested in selling a portion of this year’s produce to help families in need.
The statewide project buys not-quite-perfect or extra produce and distributes it to more than 500 organizations. Those groups pass the food along to families in their region.
Last year 385 farmers in 67 Kentucky counties participated in the effort.
Sally Nash of Daviess County said she sells mainly at the Owensboro Regional Farmers Market.
“At our farmers market meeting someone had information on that and approached us, and that was the first time we actually knew that there was a chance to actually get paid a little bit for the extra produce. We have donated stuff before, but we thought, well, that was a win-win situation for all of us.”
Nash farms on 63 acres and said last year was the first time she sold produce to the food banks program, including corn, cabbage and squash.
“It may have just been bigger than what our usual customers would take on squash. Corn, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the corn, it was just the fact that we had too much. And the cabbage, again, it was just the fact that we had too much coming in at one time.”
In 2016 Farms to Food Banks distributed more than 3 million pounds of fresh, nutritious produce that may have otherwise gone to waste.