Wisconsin local food program sees early success
A new effort by the State of Wisconsin and two farm groups is helping get more locally-grown food to the people who need it.
The Wisconsin Local Food Purchase Assistance Program is funded by the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Forrest Humphrey with Wisconsin Farmers Union says their directory helps connects the organic farmers from Marbleseed to consumers and food banks. “They can list all of the products that their farm has available, and then, they can make their contact info available to individual consumers and to our hunger relief organizations across the state.”
Humphrey tells Brownfield the program provides high-quality food and gives farmers a chance to grow new markets. “What we really want to do, especially for some of our smaller farmers who maybe to this point are only selling at the farmers’ markets, we want to give them the opportunity to expand. We want to give them the opportunity to move into some bigger markets, and maybe even prepare them for a wholesale market.”
And, Humphrey says the first growing season has been successful so far. “This month (July), we’ve already gotten just over 14-thousand dollars worth of product out to fourteen counties around the state and fifteen different hunger relief organizations, so we’re doing pretty good. That’s just this month alone.”
Farmers can get involved through Wisconsin Farmers Union, and consumers and food banks can connect through their website, WIlocalfood.org.
Humphrey spoke to Brownfield during the recent Wisconsin Farmers Union Spring Conference in Chippewa Falls.
Audio: Forrest Humphrey discusses the Wisconsin Local Food Purchase Assistance Program with Brownfield’s Larry Lee