Making a market for on-farm food loss: Exploring food banks as a market for Southeastern produce

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2017: $219,971.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2020
Grant Recipient: North Carolina State University
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Rebecca Dunning
North Carolina State University Horticulture
Reducing food waste across the supply chain is one means to more efficiently utilize natural resources and potentially divert unutilized food to the food-insecure. Food banks are the primary institution by which this transfer occurs in the U.S. Over the past 20 years, growth in the number of pounds distributed annually by food banks has been accompanied by a focus on the nutritional quality of the food distributed. This shift has included an increase in sourcing of fresh produce directly from growers, with anecdotal evidence that some food banks have market-based relationships in which food banks pay growers and even forward contract for product. The current study sought to examine the prevalence of these relationships for the purpose of evaluating food banks as a market channel for farmers’ surplus and cosmetically imperfect produce.
Peer-reviewed Journal Article
Rebecca Dunning, NCSU
Dara Bloom, NCSU
Emma Brinkmeyer, NCSU
Target audiences:
Farmers/Ranchers; Educators; Researchers
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.