Read the full story from FarmWeek. See also ISTC publications from the Farm to Food Bank program.
For two years, a pilot Illinois Farm to Food Bank program has paved a path to helping trim food waste and build food bank inventories with fresh, healthy food directly from farmers.
Now, legislation making the pilot program a permanent state program awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature. House Bill 2879 establishes the Illinois Farm to Food Bank Program within the Department of Human Services (DHS) to help expand the availability of nutritious, locally grown, raised or processed foods for Illinois’ emergency food system.
The Farm to Food Bank pilot program has been administered by Feeding Illinois and was launched in 2021 with grant funding from USDA. The program connects food banks with Illinois farmers to establish a pipeline of fresh food for food pantries throughout the state. It also provides a secondary market for products that might be left in the field or trees, or blemished products.