Ballard Alliance launches Farm it Forward program to help support local farmers and families
Farm It Forward is a fundraising site where donors can watch their charitable contribution positively impact multiple local organizations and individuals.
Farm It Forward was designed as an additional offering on the Support Local – Ballard Marketplace. The Ballard Marketplace was created in response to the COVID-19 crisis to help showcase the online shopping and takeout options of Ballard’s shops and restaurants. The additional fundraising component helps support vital nonprofits in our community.
HOW IT WORKS
Each week the Ballard Alliance will provide the donation funds to the Ballard Farmers Market. The Farmers Market will then purchase a variety of seasonal produce from their local farmers and deliver the items to the Ballard Food Bank. The Ballard Food Bank will sort and distribute the produce to our neighbors who need assistance – this healthy option provides farm fresh produce packed with nutrients to help keep the community healthy and sustained.
Ballard Alliance Board member Charles Costanzo and his wife Jennifer Rose saw an opportunity where one donation could create a ripple effect of positive impact throughout our community.
“The Ballard Sunday Farmers Market is a neighborhood treasure that sustains its farmers and vendors while the Ballard Food Bank provides for folks who need help accessing food. The Ballard Alliance Farm It Forward program provides a way for market-goers to sustain the Farmer’s Market by buying healthy, organic, and local food from the growers and then donate directly to the Ballard Food Bank. It’s these kinds of win-win programs that will see us through these challenges,” said Costanzo.
Jennifer Muzia Executive Director of the Ballard Food Bank says that since the pandemic, she has seen a dramatic increase in people needing food.
“During a normal month we have about 3,200 shopping visits, but in April we had nearly 6,100 drive-thru visits and deliveries,” said Muzia.
The Ballard Food Bank’s model has always been neighbors helping neighbors and this collaboration project exemplifies that model.
“We’ve enjoyed partnering with both the Alliance and the Farmers Market in many ways over the years. Now, during this pandemic, we are so happy to find a way that the community can support both the farmers and our neighbors who need food. We are grateful to be part of such a generous and caring community,” said Muzia.
Not only does the Farm It Forward program help families with access to healthy and nutritious food but purchasing locally grown food has positive economic and environmental impacts.
Doug Farr, General Manager of the Ballard Farmers Market has donated to the Ballard Food Bank for years, ensuring surplus products from local food producers do not go to waste.
“Choosing to purchase locally grown food is an important way to support our local economy, contribute to the community, improve your health, and protect the environment. This partnership will enable an efficient, reliable method to ensure food access and lessen food waste,” said Farr.
The Ballard Farmers Market carries locally sourced, high-quality food, grown in Washington State and is open on Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. along Ballard Avenue NW.
Leveraging longtime partnerships between the three non-profit organizations, the Farm It Forward program amplifies its fundraising efforts by positively impactinglocal farmers, as well as neighbors in need. To learn more about this new program or to contribute go to visitballard.com/shop/farm-it-forward.
The Support Local platform was created by DEI Creative, a Seattle-based brand strategy and creative studio, as an easy-to-launch platform designed as a tool for neighborhood alliances and chambers of commerce, the organizations on the front lines of promoting small businesses. The goal of Support Local is to offer neighborhood businesses and shoppers a place to connect and support one another—ensuring the return of a vibrant business community.