Dear Friends,

Willamette Farm & Food Coalition Board and Staff are committed to facilitating and supporting the development of a secure, sustainable, and inclusive food system in Lane County during the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities across Oregon have been impacted by this crisis, which presents serious challenges for vulnerable families, unhoused people, farmers, farmworkers, food business owners, and food service workers.

In the midst of uncertainty and increasing economic hardship, WFFC continues to hold farmers and eaters at the center of all that we do. Here are some of our recent efforts to provide access to fresh, healthy, and sustainable food for all during this challenging time:
 

  • We continue to fund Double Up Food Bucks at seven farmers markets in Lane County, and have launched a pilot program to develop SNAP/EBT matching for local farmstands.

 
  • We partnered with FOOD For Lane County (FFLC) to launch the Farm to Food Bank pilot program. Between April and June 2020, WFFC facilitated the purchase of over $50,000 worth of produce, meat, and value-added products from 17 farmers. More than 13,000 pounds of food went to FFLC partner food pantries.

 
  • We loaned out our Local Food Marketplace web platform to FFLC’s Spring Plant Sale to allow for online ordering instead of in-person sales. Over $22,000 in plants were sold through the online platform, with all funds raised going directly to the FFLC Youth Farm.

 
  • We surveyed farmers and local food providers and produced an online addendum to the Locally Grown Guide with information about how farms have adapted their business practices during COVID-19. This addendum features farmers who offer online ordering, low-interaction CSAs, local food delivery options and more, encouraging eaters to purchase locally-grown food safely.

 

Looking to help?

 

Here are four ways you can continue to support local food in Lane County:
 

 

1. Become a member of our Sustaining Circle with a monthly recurring donation to WFFC.

A generous tax-deductible monthly donation at any amount that fits your budget helps us to maintain core programs and adapt and respond quickly to new challenges. With restrictions on social gatherings, WFFC had to cancel our 2nd Annual Locally Grown Guide Release Party and Fundraiser. In this uncertain time, regular donations will help sustain critical WFFC projects.
 

2. Attend Farmers Markets and Buy Local as you're able.

We are in the season of abundance, and local farmers and producers continue to grow nutritious, delicious food for YOU! When you visit the farmers market, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. In many cases, farmers markets are a safer alternative to indoor grocery stores. Review the precautions that Lane County Farmers Market is taking to keep both shoppers and vendors safe and fed.
 

3. Join a CSA.

Now is the perfect time to support farmers by subscribing to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. CSAs are farm subscriptions that provide members with fresh produce and/or meat, eggs and dairy on a regular schedule- usually delivered to a convenient neighborhood drop site. In exchange, customers pay all or part of the cost up front. This extra income at the start of the season helps farmers purchase needed materials to plant and grow food all season long. Having a guaranteed customer base is vital for small farms right now. Many CSA farms have added an online store or new delivery options for high-risk and housebound individuals. Check out the 2020 Locally Grown Guide and our addendum of adaptations for details on CSA programs near you.
 

4. Check out the 2020 Locally Grown Guide and Addendum.

 

 

 


About Our Drive Thru 2020 Fill Your Pantry

 

This year, Fill Your Pantry was held as a contactless drive thru event to allow for social distancing. All customers were asked to pre-order online, no day of sales were available. We strongly encouraged shoppers to coordinate orders with neighbors and friends to allow us to serve as many community members as possible. Credit, debit, and SNAP/EBT benefits were accepted. EBT customers received a $10 discount through our SNAP Match program.

 

How the process worked:

  1. Pre-order online.

  2. Shoppers signed-up for a 30 minute time slot to pick up their order.

  3. We asked shoppers to print their confirmation email with their name and order to bring to the event.

  4. Eaters drove to the FOOD for Lane County warehouse at 2345 West Broadway in Eugene on November 15th during the pickup time they signed up for. We suggested taping the order form or a piece of paper with the name the order is under to a car window to help the process run smoothly.

  5. Customers drove the event, stopping at stations. Volunteers helped aggregate product from vendors and load orders into folks' cars at each station.

  6. Eaters returned home to stock their pantries and freezers with locally grown food to last all winter long!

 

COVID-19 Event Safety Guidelines:

  • No day of sales will be allowed at the event this year. Pre-orders only.

  • All customers must drive or bike through to pick up their orders. Walk up customers will be turned away due to social distancing requirements. 

  • Please do not attend the event if you are sick, have a fever, or have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Instead, ask a friend or neighbor to pickup your order for you by giving your name when they arrive.

  • All vendors, volunteers, and staff will be required to wear a mask. Each vendor will have a hand washing station or hand sanitizer available at their booths to sanitize in between orders.

  • All customers are asked to please stay in their vehicle and wear a mask. 

  • Volunteers and vendors will load your order directly into your vehicle for you. No need to get out to help them, just pop the trunk or unlock the door!

 

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Contact Us


Willamette Farm and Food Coalition
info@willamettefarmandfood.org
541-579-1254
P.O. Box 41672

Eugene, OR 97404
© Willamette Farm and Food Coalition 2020