Rachael Ward, Program Coordinator
P.O. Box 41672, Eugene, OR 97404
Willamette Farm and Food Coalition facilitates and supports the development of a secure, sustainable, and inclusive food system in Lane County. We envision a secure, sustainable, and inclusive food system one in which our farms and food businesses are ecologically and economically viable, our agricultural lands are supporting a much larger percentage of Lane County’s food needs, and all members of our community have access to locally grown and raised foods. We believe that a strong local food system contributes to the integral health of our entire community and we work to facilitate greater understanding of the social, economic, and environmental impacts of our food choices.
WFFC has over a decade of experience connecting farmers and consumers. As a “benevolent broker” WFFC has made it easy for households, businesses and institutions to source more of their food locally.
WFFC currently focuses on three projects:
Publishing and distributing the annual Locally Grown Guide, a consumer resource to finding local foods (15 years, 25,000 free copies per year, searchable online)
Organizing a Fill Your Pantry event that gives consumers a unique opportunity to buy staple and storage crops in bulk directly from area farmers. Over $83,000 worth of local food was pre-ordered or purchased at 2019’s event. 24 vendors participated in last year’s event and took home an average of $2,500 in guaranteed pre-order sales.
Supporting small and rural farmers markets in Lane County to run Double Up Food Bucks programs. In 2019, WFFC provided over $6,300 worth of SNAP match funds to six markets. In 2020, WFFC will provide promotional and support funds to markets receiving state funding through Farmers Market Fund.
In the past decade, WFFC has foraged into several areas of the local and community food system. WFFC’s past accomplishments include:
Creating a Farm to School Program which serves as a model for the state, has educated thousands of elementary school children about where their food comes from, and successfully assisted five school districts in increasing their purchases of Oregon grown products (10 years)
Increasing access to locally grown foods for those in need by promoting farm stands, CSA programs and farmers markets that accept SNAP benefits; offering market tours to low income families; organizing Fill Your Pantry community bulk buying events; and working with partner organizations to bring local foods into underserved neighborhoods. (8 years)
Increasing the visibility of locally grown foods and the farms and food businesses providing them, and equating support of these farms and businesses with economic benefit to our community and local economy through our Lane County Food Makes Dollars and Sense campaign. (4 years)
Coordinating the Friends of the Farmers Market volunteers who offer community outreach and customer support for the Lane County Farmers Market. (2 years)