The Need Too many of North Carolina’s farmers are struggling. So are its residents.

Small farms contribute greatly to local communities, but systemic barriers often limit their success.

Small and mid-scale farms are often excluded from subsidies.

Large farms growing exclusively commodity crops like corn, wheat, and soy often receive subsidies and other financial supports from the government that small farmers growing “specialty” crops don’t qualify for. (Modern Farmer)

Women and BIPOC farmers face deeper challenges.

These farmers face unique challenges borne out of systemic racism – and the demand for grants to support them vastly exceeds funding supply provided by U.S. legislation. (Pacific Standard, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition)

Beginning farmers often can’t buy land.

In a 2017 survey, 61% of beginning farmers reported that their biggest challenge was access to land. They’re often forced to lease because they can’t find affordable land to buy or can’t earn enough income from farming to support a purchase. Student debt also limits loans for land. (Successful Farming, National Young Farmer Coalition)

Farmer Foodshare creates new sales opportunities for NC farms.

Poverty and food insecurity drive health disparities.

When the only accessible, affordable food options are of poor nutritional value, health suffers.

1 in 5 children and 1 in 7 adults in NC suffers from food insecurity.

Food insecurity means lacking access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. (Feeding America)

1 in 3 adults in NC is obese.

Obesity is a condition that also increases the risk of other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers. (The State of Obesity)

Latinx and Black households are +2X as likely to report being food insecure as white households.

COVID-19 has exacerbated health disparities that predated the pandemic and were caused by systemic injustices. (Food Research and Action Center) (Bread for the World)

Farmer Foodshare enables communities to access fresh, nutritious food.

Education is key.

Most Americans are 2-4 generations removed from the farm.

A majority of Americans, even in agricultural states like NC, have no direct link to agriculture, limiting their understanding of its importance to our economy or their health. (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

“Eating healthy” is hard if recipients are unfamiliar with the food they do obtain and cannot get good guidance.

80% of U.S. registered dietitians identify as white; there’s also a lack of culturally diverse nutrition advice in official nutrition resources and the media. (Self, Commission of Dietetic Registration)

Farmer Foodshare offers food system education and other resources.