Providing Product to Farm to Family

Steve Linkhart
California Association of Food Banks
(510) 272-4435, x. 916



What products are food banks looking for? Food banks can utilize any type of farm product, from fruits and vegetables to nuts, grains, dairy, eggs, and meats. Often, food banks are the beneficiaries of “culls”, “seconds”, or B grade products that are perfectly edible, but perhaps not cosmetically perfect.

What quantities do food banks need? Food banks have a well developed network and will share any excess to ensure all products are utilized, so no quantity is too great. For quantities of one or more truckloads, CAFB will coordinate distribution to food banks throughout California. For quantities of less than a truckload, CAFB will coordinate with the local food bank to pick up the product. Some farmers choose to share their excess on a regular basis, for example one truckload a week during their season. Others make one-time contributions as product is available.

Who provides transportation? While delivery of product is greatly appreciated, CAFB or the local food bank can arrange rapid, professional pick up at no cost to the farmer.

Can farmers be reimbursed some of their costs? In many cases, food banks can provide a nominal fee to offset the costs of harvesting and packing donated products. For some farmers, this fee, usually expressed as a few cents per pound, allows them to capture what might otherwise go unharvested. That may be an entire field, or for products that are graded in the field, the farmer may choose to harvest the culls for food banks.

Are there other benefits? Yes! Farmers who donate to the program may be eligible for tax credits, and some farmers find that providing their culls to food banks has positive effects on economies of scale, worker morale, and more. The CAFB Farm to Family Fact Sheet discusses these benefits in greater detail.

How do I find out more? Please contact Steve Linkhart, or (510) 272-4435, x. 916.