Farm Credit Affiliation
Leslie and Lisa's Perspective
and coordinated by sisters Leslie Jordan and Lisa Shumaker, Farm to Family
(FTF) teaches families in need how to prepare nutritious yet affordable meals and
connects farmers with consumers. The organization is based in Marion, Ohio, where 20 percent of the
residents live in poverty.
and Lisa founded FTF when they realized that some food pantry clients didn’t know
how to prepare nutritious meals. For these sisters, who grew up in agriculture and
who both work in agriculture-related careers, this was a problem they knew they
could help solve.
to food pantries showed us that it is not enough to provide individuals with
food or money for food,” says Lisa, who is an appraiser with Ag Credit, ACA. “If they do not know how
to prepare nutritious meals, food distributed at pantries may go to waste, and
food dollars will be spent on less nutritious products.”
past three years, they’ve helped more than 300 families improve their nutrition
by first demonstrating recipes and then providing attendees with one meal along
with a cookbook the sisters developed featuring simplified recipes. The events
are held at local food pantries and outreach centers, and also include door
prize drawings for kitchen items like slow cookers, baking dishes and electric
FTF expanded into farming, planting a one-acre sweet corn patch. Local food
pantries harvest truckloads of corn for their clients, and area farmers assist
in planting and maintaining the corn patch, and help harvest the corn.
Family has connected area farmers to consumers in need at local food pantries,”
says Lisa. “Our fundraising programs have also connected farmers to consumer
who can provide financial support for those in need. It is also our hope that collaborations
with other community groups helps to break the cycle of poverty in our
the program again in 2015, FTF collaborated with a local high school to conduct
a series of four educational sessions with their most at-risk students.
Students learned how to follow a recipe, prepare meals, basics of food safety,
budgeting and meal planning. During the last session, students were taken to a
local grocery store and given a $35 budget. Students chose meals from the FTF
cookbook, and used their budgets to shop for the needed ingredients.
meeting a need in the community while promoting a positive image of
agriculture, and developing relationships with a group of consumers who would
otherwise have no connection to the farm.
important that the agriculture industry connects with consumers at all income
levels,” says Lisa. “We cannot grow as an industry without building
relationships and welcoming dialog with consumers within our own communities."
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