The Farm to Community (FTC) Pilot Program is a partnership funded by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Program to strengthen the local food system by supporting our small, family farmers and bringing more fresh food to those in need. As the Sussex County partner, the HLFM developed a program that procures, aggregates, and distributes produce, meat, eggs, and dairy from Delaware small farmers and other local sources to food pantries across Sussex County. Presently, there are eleven small farms participating in the FTC program that grow local food for thirteen Sussex County food pantries. Over 3,000 individuals in need are being served by food pantries through this program every week.
HLFM customers who want to help feed the local community with fresh local food may purchase produce, meats, milk, and other food from growers at the Market to donate to Sussex County Food Pantries every Saturday.
It’s so easy–all you have to do is let the vendor know what you want to donate or give $5, $10, $25 to the vendor and ask them to put together a selection for the pantries. At the end of the Market, the produce and other foods are gathered and picked up by HLFM volunteers.
Our small farmers need help and so do the families in our community who use food banks. This unique HLFM program supports both by buying food from family farms and delivering that local food to area food banks. The HLFM will make sure that there is a balance of fresh veggies, fruit, eggs, milk, and bread to be delivered directly to the food banks from the farmers for distribution.
The HLFM gleans (collects donations of extra produce) from the vendors at the end of each Saturday market, organizes the produce, and donates the excess produce to Casa San Francisco in Milton, DE, a charity which runs an Emergency Shelter, a Food Cooperative and an Emergency Food Pantry. Over the years, this program resulted in donations of tens of thousands of dollars worth of fresh local food to Casa San Francisco.
Each year, the HLFM gives scholarships to small farmers in the Delmarva to attend sustainable agriculture conferences. We have given farmers scholarships to attend conferences such as Pasa Sustainable Agriculture conference, the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference, the Future Harvest CASA Conference, and the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. Our scholarships and grants enable farmers to gain new skills and knowledge at these conferences. This program is essential in growing small farms in the Delmarva.
One of our proudest achievements came in 2013 when the HLFM introduced SNAP at the market.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) / EBT (Food Stamps) is the government program that helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health. The HLFM processes SNAP so that SNAP customers can have access to the local, fresh food at the Market. The HLFM matches Bonus Bucks tokens up to $20 for SNAP customers at every Market. Please help to make sure that fresh local food is available to everyone in our community by supporting this program.
We accept WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) benefits as well as SFMNP (Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program) benefts at our markets.