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.
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 $5,000 of produce from each accepted farm during the 2020 season. Farms are accepted into the program by filling out the application.
Hunger Relief Support
The food purchased will then be donated to food shelves and other hunger relief organizations striving to offer more fresh produce to their communities. Efforts will focus on areas that are designated food deserts 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
Frequently Asked Questions
LEAFF was launched through collaborative work by The Good Acre, Mill City Farmers Market, Lakewinds Food Co-op, the Latino Economic Development Center, The Food Group, and the Hmong American Partnership.
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.
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.
Farmers receiving funds are small-scale farmers, particularly 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.
Thanks to These Supporters
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!