Farmers Feeding Wisconsin

Wisconsin farmers are the heart of our state.

Our farmers work tirelessly every day and brave ever changing weather patterns and market whims to supply the people of our state and nation with the food it needs to thrive.

And in times when harvests are abundant, farmers want to be able to ensure that our friends and neighbors in tough times have the food they need to make it through.

To magnify the local impact of our state's agricultural community, we offer a number of agricultural programs that connect our farmers' hearts to the nearly 200,000 people in rural Wisconsin, and the 415,400 people throughout Wisconsin, experiencing food insecurity

Wisconsin Food Security Initiative (CARES Act and ARPA Funded)

In 2020, Wisconsin CARES Act funding supported $12.2M in food and infrastructure purchase for Feeding Wisconsin food banks and pantries. This funding resulted in more than 6.2M pounds of beef, pork, cheese, butter, canned, frozen and fresh produce distributed. Food was purchased at a statewide level and divided up between food banks. 86% of food was sourced from Wisconsin producers.

In 2022, Wisconsin ARPA funding is supporting $15M in food and infrastructure purchase for Feeding Wisconsin food banks and pantries. As of August, over $5M in food purchases were made resulting in almost $4M pounds of food for Wisconsinites. This program enabled flexibility in regional purchasing, so that food banks could based their purchasing off of the demand and requests of food pantries and pantry guests. As purchases are made, product is placed on the ordering list for partner food distribution organizations to order for delivery and pick up. This flexibility enables pantries to receive the food they need to support their community in the way that is best for them (by the pallet, by the case, or pre-boxed).

The Food Security Initiative was extended in to 2023 which result in an additional $5M for food purchasing by the Feeding Wisconsin network. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Wisconsin producers and processors to secure the food need to help Wisconsin families make ends meet.

Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin FarmLink Program

Farm Link is a farm-to-food bank initiative of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin focused on improving access to fresh fruits and vegetables and supporting local farms through contracting acres of growing. Each year, the network of farms we work with supplies our network of pantries with over 200,000 pounds of fresh, locally-grown produce.

Find more information here. 

Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin Farm to Food Bank Program

Through our Farm to Foodbank Initiative, Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin provides local, nutritious food to neighbors experiencing food insecurity while strengthening our local farming community. It is a win-win to meet the need in our area and support our local economy. Their network of partner food pantries spans 16 Southwestern WI counties, many of which are rural.

Find more information here.

Great Lakes InterTribal Food System Coalition's Tribal Elder Food Box Program

The Tribal Elder Food Box program, food from Indigenous and non-Indigenous local producers and distributes to Elders in partnership with all 11 Federally recognized Tribal Nations within Wisconsin's borders. The contents of the boxes change for each distribution based on what is available seasonally. The average box is 15-20 pounds and will contain a combination of protein (meats and fish), produce (fruits and vegetables), and shelf stable items like white corn, maple syrup, and wild rice. The program runs May through December.

Find more information here.

DATCP Local Food Purchasing Agreement (LFPA Program)

The Wisconsin Local Food Purchase Assistance Program (WI LFPA), administrated by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and operated through partnership of Marbleseed, Wisconsin Farmers Union, and Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative, aims to strengthen local and regional food systems, support Wisconsin farmers, and distribute fresh nutritious foods to communities that lack access to healthy food. This program is offering $1.5 million in pre-season contract agreements for farmers to provide food to these communities across Wisconsin. If you are a producer in Wisconsin interested in selling food into this program, please go to the WI LFPA website here and review the application here.

If you are a producer and interested in connecting with one of our member food banks to learn more about partnership in supplying food through this program, please review the map below to find the food bank and consult the list of food sourcing staff at our members food banks to connect directly.

To learn more about how to get involved, please contact us.