WHAT IS FARMERS TO FAMILIES FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY?
Faith-Based Community Farmers to Families is an expansive collaboration of organizations and churches mobilized to distribute USDA Farmers to Families food boxes of produce and poultry to families impacted by the pandemic crisis. To date over 3.5 million food boxes have been committed to this collaboration by approved USDA suppliers desiring to feed hungry families living in the last mile of need.
Faith-based organizations and churches are uniquely positioned to serve the “last mile” which includes vulnerable seniors, shut-ins, at-risk children, food insecure families, and the homeless. This faith-based collaboration includes many great organizations such as World Vision, Convoy of Hope, CityServe, Citygate Network (Gospel Rescue Missions), Teen Challenge, The Dream Centers, 180 Disaster Relief, Operation Border Blessing and a host of churches across the nation.
HUB and POD model
One of the ways we help to resource churches is to coordinate truckloads of food boxes to regional warehouses or HUB’s. These HUB’s then coordinate with local churches serving the neighborhoods throughout their communities. We call these local churches POD’s. A POD is a “Point of Distribution.” POD’s are churches that have made a commitment to be actively involved in the distribution of Farmers to Families Food boxes.
WHAT WILL I NEED TO BE A SUCCESSFUL HUB?
1. Logistics and Warehouse
It is imperative to have adequate warehouse space. In addition, the following items may help you succeed:
- Proper equipment for unloading truck (fork-lift and pallet jack)
- If a HUB location has immediate distribution upon truckload arrival it will not always be required to have refrigeration on site. However, you will be required to ensure the food boxes reach the family receiving them no longer than two hours after leaving the cold chain.• Ample amount of refrigeration space (Either a walk in cooler or the rental of a refrigerated 53-foot semi-trailer).
- If you rent a refrigerated 53-foot semi-trailer this will typically need to be refueled once every 3-4 days with about 40-50 gallons. There are local fuel companies that can be hired to refuel for around $2-$3 per gallon.
2. Staff and Volunteer Base
Hub Partner will want to have staff and/or volunteers with a commitment to assisting in the following tasks:
- Unload truck deliveries with fork-lift into cold storage space or to POD pickup transportation vehicles.
- Coordinate pickup and/or delivery times with PODs.
- Manage ongoing communication and coordination of POD churches to ensure the successful distribution of F2F food boxes.
- Train PODs on proper distribution model.
- Provide oversight to ensure PODs are properly executing distribution.
- Enforce safety policies and USDA means testing requirements throughout all HUB partners and POD volunteer activities (e.g. physical distancing, utilizing masks at all times, hand washing and sanitizing practices, etc.)
Communication, Reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation
Gather stories, stats, outcomes, challenges, etc. for reporting purposes. CityServe will provide access to software that will assist in tracking. Additionally, it will help support the local churches in future opportunity for outreach.
To coordinate a truckload email Tamryn Foley at [email protected] or call (239) 316-8286.
Download the USDA Farmers to Families Faith-Based Communities FAQ sheet here!