Fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the most beloved items we distribute every week – and this year, we’ve been able to partner with local farmers to get even more great produce onto our neighbors’ tables.
We’ve been working with five small farms, many of them led by women or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous or people of color) producers, to source some of the produce we distribute. The largest of these partners is Terra Firma Farm, a family-owned farm based largely in Solano County.
Co-owner Paul Underwood and sales manager Eric Yuke recently took us on a tour to show the impact this partnership is making – for the farm, for our neighbors in need and for our environment!
Paul, a first-generation farmer, was drawn to the profession for a simple reason: “I just always liked the idea of feeding people,” he says.
“I really enjoy growing and producing good quality food. And fresh fruits and vegetables have always been something that I’ve really valued.”
At Terra Firma, he’s been able to grow a whole alphabet of produce — everything from beets to zucchini. And, as a result, we’ve been able to provide our neighbors an incredible variety of options that are seasonal and culturally relevant.
We’ve purchased more than 208,000 pounds of produce from Terra Firma this year. That not only means great food for our neighbors in need – it also supports sustainable agriculture practices, and more than 40 year-round jobs in our community.
“The purchasing and support that you, the Food Bank, has given us has been absolutely amazing,” says sales manager Eric Yuke. Because we distribute food daily, the Food Bank is able to take produce harvested at times that aren’t as convenient for other clients – essential for a small farm that needs to sell as much of its yield as possible to make ends meet.
Because the farm is so close by, these purchases also benefit planet Earth. Terra Firma’s veggies only have to travel about 20 miles down the highway to reach our warehouse in Fairfield.
Paul and Eric say they are proud to know their produce is supporting neighbors who live right in their community – particularly those who might be experiencing some varieties of fruit or veggie for the first time ever.
“I find there to be something really wonderful about sharing these kind of things with people who do not normally know what these things are – because they don’t either have access or it’s not something they’re used to seeing,” Eric says.
“Getting the proper nutrition to people who definitely need it is something to feel really good about.”
Did you know that 70% of our operating budget comes from private supporters like you?
Your support is the reason we can keep providing our neighbors with the fresh, healthy produce they love. Give today and help provide a homegrown solution to hunger!