In 2021 the High Desert Food & Farm Alliance (HDFFA) hit a huge milestone, having collected over 104,000 pounds of local produce to date – that’s enough food for 87,000 meals! Through HDFFA’s fresh food drive program, Grow & Give, Central Oregon farmers, gardeners, and community members can donate the nutritious locally grown food that is in high demand, but often hard to find, at local food pantries. This program has been in operation since 2016, with all donated produce distributed through NeighborImpact Food Bank to their 55+ food access agencies throughout Central Oregon. HDFFA collected 31,372 pounds of produce from 24 farmers this year, including 20 on-farm volunteer harvesting events. This is the largest collection amount in a single season since the program began in 2016.
How exactly does local produce make it to Central Oregon families experiencing food insecurity? Join HDFFA in their video, Follow That Food, to take you from start to finish (or dirt to dish!).
Grow & Give would not be possible without Central Oregon Farmers. HDFFA Partner Farmers who contributed to Grow & Give in 2021 include:
In 2020, HDFFA began paying farmers for fresh food donations as a way to offset economic and market losses from COVID-19. In 2021, HDFFA decided to make these reimbursements a permanent part of Grow & Give. Fourteen HDFFA Partner Farmers opted to be reimbursed for their contributions to Grow & Give this year, totaling $13,343.
Thank you to the partners, funders, and volunteers who make this program possible. Funding for HDFFA’s Grow & Give Program is supported by the Community Food Projects Grant #2021-33800-35848 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Northwest Farm Credit Services, The Roundhouse Foundation, and the Deschutes County Discretionary Grant Program.
Want to volunteer with Grow & Give? Visit hdffa.org/volunteer to find out how!