The Foodshed Alliance’s LocalShare program has been awarded a total of $26,690 from the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (Phases ARPAR and 39) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), administered through the Warren County Department of Human Services, to purchase healthy food from local farms to donate to local food pantries to feed those in need.

Funds will purchase seasonal produce, farm-fresh eggs and locally grown hot-house greens (lettuces, spinach, collards, etc.) year-round to provide a constant flow of nutrient-dense foods to local food pantries in Warren County. One of the most challenging things for food pantries to provide their clients is protein, and grant funds will allow us to purchase eggs directly from local farms to deliver free-of-charge to local food pantries and to distribute at our free farmers’ markets held throughout the county. Farm-fresh local eggs are a highly coveted food-pantry item, not only because they are an excellent source of protein available year-round, but because they are a familiar staple that virtually everyone knows how to use.

This isn’t the first time LocalShare supplemented its gleaning activities by purchasing farm food with much-needed grant funding. When the world first shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and grocery stores and food pantries struggled to stay stocked, LocalShare pivoted to meet the emerging needs of our communities. Thanks to generous grants of $20,000 from the Atlantic Health Community Advisory Boards of Hackettstown and Newton Medical Centers as well as contributions from individual donors, LocalShare purchased fresh food, grown locally, and donated it directly to food banks.

These grants and donations together are enabling the Foodshed Alliance to drive more than $53,500 in sales to local farms. The ability to simultaneously support local farmers in their hard work, while securing wholesome, healthy food sources for our neighbors in need is part of the foundation of Foodshed Alliance’s mission. We are grateful to all who have donated in the past to make this possible, and to the County of Warren for administering the current FEMA funding!