“It is both possible and morally necessary to find ways for farmers and others to make a fair living while providing accessible, healthy food to their communities.” – Claire Hermann, Come to the Table co-founder
The question of how we can accomplish this morally necessary and yet 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:
1. What are the barriers and opportunities for farmers selling into low wealth communities?
2. 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?
Literature ReviewIn 2014, we partnered with the University of Missouri to conduct a literature review to determine what data already exists and identify gaps in research. Click here to read the full literature review, or click below to view a summary.
Here’s a sneak peek into what we discovered:
- Almost all quantitative data available on farmers selling to low income communities is focused on SNAP sales at farmers’ markets.
- As of 2013, 35% of U.S. farmers’ markets were authorized to accept SNAP benefits.
- In 2013, SNAP recipients in the U.S. spent $21.1 mil at farmers’ markets or directly with farmers, .03% of all SNAP benefits.
- In 2013, SNAP recipients in North Carolina spent $152,000 at farmers’ markets, .006% of all SNAP benefits.