Agricultural markets -- Supply chain -- Illinois -- Case studies
In 2021, the Farm to Food Bank Program partnered with Rendleman Orchards to capture over 600,000 pounds of fresh fruit including apples, peaches, and nectarines. This product came from Rendleman Orchards, Flamm Orchards, and Eckert’s Orchard and was either delivered to or picked up by three Feeding Illinois food banks. That pilot can be reviewed at http://hdl.handle.net/2142/113371. In 2022, the Farm to Food Bank Program was able to expand on 2021 efforts and capture nearly 1,000,000 million pounds of fruit and vegetables including apples, peaches, nectarines, eggplant, bell peppers, sweet corn, and zucchini. Between the 2021 and 2022 growing season, Rendleman Orchards reached out to several other farms and (along with Flamm and Eckert’s) added Keller Farms, Stuckmeyer Plants & Produce, and Brown Brothers Produce as project partners. This product was delivered to seven food banks throughout the season. While there was an opportunity to capture additional product (primarily apples), Feeding Illinois exhausted their grant funding for the season in mid-September. Throughout the season, Rendleman would either pick up product from the farm partners, or the farm partners would drop off, and Rendlemans would aggregate and connect with each food bank to coordinate deliveries and pickups. This process allowed for one single farm to to serve the primary point of contact and coordinate one transaction, rather than six. It also allowed food banks to consolidate fewer deliveries and pickups while obtaining a wider variety of products. By the end of the 2022 growing season, Feeding Illinois and its eight member food banks were able to reimburse the six farms a total of $560,361 for a total of 887,751 pounds. This cost covered the farms’ Picking and Pack-Out (PPO) costs, as well as transportation costs for aggregating and delivering the product.
Champaign, IL : Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
Publications from ISTC TAP's Farm to Food Bank project. The project aims to connect food banks with farms to purchase products like fruits, vegetables, cheese, milk, meat, and eggs directly from farmers. The overall goal of the project is to identify and build a long-term market and infrastructure for Illinois farmers and Illinois food banks.