Market Allergy-Friendly Food Using Local Vegetables, Fruit, Proteins, and Value-added Products to Increase Small Farm Sales

Project Overview

FNC20-1232
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2020: $27,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2022
Grant Recipient: Pat & Rachel's Gardens
Region: North Central
State: Kansas
Project Coordinator:
Dr. James Leek
Pat & Rachel's Gardens

Information Products

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Crop Production: food processing
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: farm-to-institution
  • Sustainable Communities: food hubs

    Proposal summary:

    This proposal attempts to solve two problems: First, people with food allergy restrictions are challenged to find fresh, healthy choices meeting their nutritional needs.  Second, small farmers continue to seek ways to improve economic viability.  This grant proposal builds on our current SARE research FNC19-1175 which explored the struggles two small local school districts faced meeting the needs of their students diagnosed with food allergies.  Our work developing menu items free of the top 8 allergens using locally-sourced vegetables, fruit, proteins and value-added products shows real promise for both local farmers and schools.  We are requesting a second grant that would take our research a step further by finding other customers both in and outside of school communities while refining the business challenge of making the processes more cost effective through use of scale and bulk ordering.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Identify crops and products Kansas City Food Hub farmer/owners will have available for value-added allergy-free meals.
    2. Identify needs in our local communities for allergy-free menu items.
    3. Refine and test standardized recipes created with our 2019 SARE grant (FNC19-1175).
    4. Increase scale of production beyond 2019 grant and take advantage of bulk pricing of materials to make prices competitive.
    5. Continue to test recipes among our clients using fresh, processed, and preserved products.
    6. Market products both inside and outside of school communities thereby increasing viability of our farmer members. Target research audiences include: other institutions such as nursing homes and day cares …
    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.