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Growing the Table is a collaboration of multiple nonprofit partners including the Office of Kat Taylor, the Tomkat Ranch Educational Foundation, the CA Department of Food and Agriculture, and the CA Association of Food Banks, working to make sure that at-risk harvest from small and diverse California farms gets distributed to food-insecure families and individuals. Growing the Table is raising money to provide grant funds to community nonprofits who source from networks of small regenerative/organic farms, especially those owned by women and people of color, to provide free food distribution during COVID-19. The program provides wholesale market incentive to small farmers for their harvests, many of which are at risk due to a lack of typical demand. Grants from Growing the Table will also allow these community nonprofits to increase their capacity and offset additional operational costs and expand services. California food banks and other community food distribution sites are seeing record demand as millions of families struggle to put food on the table during this pandemic’s economic crisis, and it’s essential that this year’s harvest doesn’t go to waste while so many are hungry. Growing the Table’s Steering Committee and pilot partners are a diverse group of individuals and organizations inclusive of the leading voices in California’s movement for regenerative agriculture.

Mitch Holley, a GISCorps volunteer in Georgia, is selected to assist Growing the Table to process their California farms dataset. The goal is to target small farms, farms owned by women or people of color, and organic/transitioning organic/regenerative farms in 10 pilot regions, so that Growing the Table and nonprofit partners can offer to purchase excess harvest to make free food boxes or prepared meals for Californian needs. Mitch will also be developing web applications to facilitate spatial and tabular queries by community nonprofits partners, allowing them to identify a shortlist of nearby farms to contact to diversify their supply networks.

Recruitment complete, project in progress

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