Local Emergency Assistance Farmer Fund

The Local Emergency Assistance Farmer Fund (LEAFF) was launched to help small-scale BIPOC farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many farmers who attend farmers markets, sell to schools, corporate cafeterias, universities, restaurants, and events such as the State Fair, are now left with food ready to harvest but nowhere to sell it.

While some farmers have been able to create online stores or find alternative routes to sell their produce, others, particularly emerging and BIPOC farmers, have not. That’s where LEAFF comes in.


Farmer Assistance

LEAFF helps small-scale farmers, particularly emerging and BIPOC farmers, survive the loss of their typical markets due to the pandemic. LEAFF will raise funds and purchase, at fair market value, food grown by these local farmers. LEAFF is not a grant, but a guarantee to buy up to $7,500 of produce from each accepted farm during the 2020 season. Farms are accepted into the program after completing the application and internal review

veg basket icon

Hunger Relief Support

The food purchased is donated to food shelves and other hunger relief organizations striving to offer more fresh produce to their communities. Efforts will focus on areas where healthy foods have been inaccessible and neighborhoods with a higher density of BIPOC residents because unemployment rates and COVID-19 have disproportionately affected these populations.

LEAFF partners have committed $50,000 to get the program started. Will you help double our funds to reach $100,000? Make a donation below!

Equity in the Food System

LEAFF partners recognize that our food system was built through the systemic oppression of BIPOC communities, farmers and consumers, and continues to be inequitable. Our goal is to provide resources and support to BIPOC farmers to ensure COVID-19 does not create additional barriers to success, and provides connections to new wholesale markets and technology for longer-term sustainability. We are committed to providing purchased produce to organizations supporting those facing hunger and food insecurity, whether it’s people impacted by COVID-19, communities rebuilding from protests following the murder of George Floyd, or communities that have been oppressed throughout our cities’ history. 

Make a Donation

LEAFF by the Numbers

Frequently Asked Questions

Who started LEAFF?

LEAFF was launched through collaborative work by The Good Acre, Mill City Farmers Market Charitable Fund, Lakewinds Food Co-op, the Latino Economic Development Center, The Food Group, and the Hmong American Partnership.

What is the purpose of LEAFF?

The purpose is to help farmers survive loss of markets and income because of the pandemic, while bringing fresh produce to people facing food insecurity.

How can individuals offer support?

Individuals can make a donation and seek out and buy locally grown food. Learn about the Local Food is Essential campaign and take the pledge to swap out one non-local item for one item grown by a local farmer.

What percentage of my donation will go directly to farmers?

When you make a donation, 80% of the funds go to purchase produce from farmers, while the rest pays for refrigeration, administration, and delivery to distribution partners.

Who are the farmers receiving this support?

Farmers receiving funds are small-scale emerging and BIPOC farmers experiencing a loss of their typical markets due to the pandemic. A number of these farmers normally sell the food they grow to corporate campuses, colleges and K-12 schools, restaurants, and other businesses that are closed or running at a dramatically reduced capacity because of the pandemic.

How can other organizations get involved?

Organizations can donate funds, sell donation cards, and promote LEAFF to their communities. For more information on how you can get involved, contact us.

Meet the LEAFF Partners

Lakewinds logo
TGA logo
Food Group logo
LEDC logo
HAP logo
Department of Agriculture logo

Thanks to These Supporters

RTC logo
SFA logo

Learn More About LEAFF

Are you a farmer in need? Find out how the program might help.

Connect with Us

Are you interested in supporting LEAFF? We want to hear from you!

LEAFF farmer photo 3
LEAFF farmer photo 2
Leaff Farmer photo
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt