The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is pleased to announce the results of the 2019 Farm to Preschool and Out-of-School Time RFQ that closed on July 1. Applicants were invited to support food procurement, food equity, and connections between Washington State farmers and Seattle public preschools and before and after school programs serving low-income children and families in Seattle. The RFQ guides the investment of more than $200,000, including funding from Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT).
HSD received a single application which was reviewed by a committee whose members recommended fully funding the proposal from Farmstand Local Foods, which has a strong background in implementing a food ordering and delivery program that provides affordable, nutritious, and wholesome produce from farm to preschool and OST programs.
They have worked closely with local small-scale farmers and are responsive to their needs. The rating committee feels they have staff with experience and capacity to successfully:
- Conduct food procurement
- Provide nutrition education
- Build partnerships
- Convene a group of stakeholders
- Work with local farms
“It is a true pleasure to spearhead this work and help bring local youth better access to our region’s beautiful and nutritious agricultural bounty. Very much looking forward to another year of advancing this worthy mission with the City of Seattle. A sincere thank you for the continued opportunity!”Austin Becker, Farmstand Local Foods Manager
Farmstand Local Foods currently runs a Farm-to-Table program with funding from the SBT, which makes grant funds available to site directors and cooks at childcare centers and allows them to purchase and prepare locally grown food for children in the Seattle area. They are also starting to work with local food banks.
“We drastically reduce the distance between Seattle’s innovative community of chefs and wholesale purchasers and the farmers from who they source product by creating an efficient sales channel for our city’s surrounding farms,” Farmstand Local Foods proudly proclaims on their website. “We partner with local small-scale producers who are committed to using regenerative practices, and buyers who strive to make conscious decisions about where they source their ingredients. We offer in-field experiences for foodservice professionals and retailers and provide insight to our growers about demand trends in the culinary industry.”
Ultimately, they believe in helping to establish an economically and environmentally sustainable food system by facilitating and maintaining connections between producers and consumers to demonstrate the value and importance of viable local farms.