In 2014, RAFI formally launched the Beyond Hunger Relief program. The program exists to identify, develop and expand sustainable solutions to food insecurity that also work to strengthen just and sustainable agriculture.
The Beyond Program Relief program encompasses 3 distinct areas of work:
I. The Come to the Table Project
Created in 2006 as a joint endeavor between RAFI and the North Carolina Council of Churches, with funding and support from the Duke Endowment, this project exists to engage and mobilize people of faith, farmers and communities.
Come to the Table is best known for hosting regional conferences that convene faith leaders and laypeople, hunger relief advocates, farmers, farm-workers, school nutrition directors and others in order to find mutually beneficial solutions to food insecurity. Through this project, we also organize trainings on food access issues and provide technical assistance to faith groups starting or expanding food / hunger ministries.
- About the Come to the Table Project
- Come to the Table Regional Conferences
- The Rural Life Committee
- CTTT Newsletter
- Blog Posts
- Press Releases
For additional information contact:
Come to the Table Project Director
Tel: (919) 548-6825
II. Beyond Hunger Relief Research Initiative
This question of how we can accomplish the extremely challenging business of building a more equitable food system has been the central question of our work since Come to the Table was founded in 2006. In 2014, we launched a three year participatory research project funded by the Duke Endowment in order to study two main questions:
- What are the barriers and opportunities for farmers selling into low wealth communities?
- What are the linchpin points in the market chain where public or philanthropic investment could open sustainable, entrepreneurial food access solutions? I.e. How can we best use our resources to build a more equitable food system?
Our ultimate goal is to use research results to support entrepreneurial and community based solutions to food access.
- Beyond Hunger Relief Research: Our Approach
- Blog Post: Guess What’s New at RAFI
- Beyond Hunger Relief: Research One-Pager
- Beyond Hunger Relief: Farmer Interviews
- The Impact on Farmers Selling Into Low-Income Communities: A Literature Review [PDF]
Through this new project, we aim to increase farm-to-consumer direct sales and the usage of SNAP/EBT at farmers markets in North Carolina. We do this through:
Farm Fresh and Healthy Pilot Program
In Spring 2015, RAFI-USA launched the Farm Fresh and Healthy Pilot Program with farmers markets and roadside stands in North Carolina Tier 1 counties. Our goal is to increase access to fruits and vegetables for SNAP/EBT recipients while also boosting revenues for farmers selling at participating markets. The primary strategy in this initial phase is the Fresh Bucks consumer incentive program which we are launching at each produce outlet.
- Elaney Wood Heritage Farmers Market, Snow Hill, Greene County
- Market Square Farmers Market, Reidsville, Rockingham County
- Morganton Farmers Market, Morganton, Burke County
- Historic Marion Tailgate Market, Marion, McDowell County
Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant
This initiative, possible through the support of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, will investigate and develop marketing plans with four North Carolina farmers markets and track the impact on farmer revenues. A farmers market and direct sales conference was held in December 2015 to present findings and provide a statewide forum for market managers and direct sale vendors to collaborate, share best practices and receive training on innovative marketing and outreach strategies.
Durham Farmers Market Double Bucks
RAFI is pleased to serve as the fiscal sponsor of the Durham Farmers Market’s Double Bucks program, which will allow SNAP customers to receive double the amount of money they spend on tokens for purchases.
- More about the Connect2Direct program
- Initiative Launched to Increase Farmers Market Sales and Local Food Access (Press Release, October 2014)