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How Local Farming Helps Communities Combat Food Insecurity

Every government should strive to ensure that people don't go hungry and that food insecurity is addressed head on. The national governments can adopt policies to promote family and local farming, reduce pollution, provide affordable credits for local farmers and help to solve some of the challenges that local farmers face.

As a way of improving food security, some national governments offer subsidies. This money is used to help local farmers or food buyers. Price support is actually used to promote the local farmers business, setting a higher price on the food they produce. Food buyers and consumers also have to be price controlled to ensure that essential foods are available at affordable prices, especially to those facing food insecurity.

Many corporations receive government support in a way that is not beneficial. They may use it to purchase large industrial farms, or distribute and sell unhealthy food. The result is often more food insecurity, hunger, or malnutrition when government support is abused by large corporations.

There are many ways that people can increase local food security, with or without government funding. Changes that improve and address food insecurity head on, such as planting a small garden, supporting local farmers, or even organizing a farmers market, can often yield quick results and motivate people to take action.

Community Food Projects

Local food production and distribution is the best way to ensure food security in a way that both supports local farming and combats food insecurity. Locally grown food tends to be fresher and more nutritious, and as money flows to local farmers and businesses, it actually builds the local economy.

When working to combat food insecurity, local farmers and community food projects help to build relationships between people and makes communities stronger and more hospitable. It is particularly important to regain control over food production and distribution for poor communities, which often lack land or access to farmers markets.

Ways to Produce more Local Food to Combat Food Insecurity

These projects are easy ways to start up and can directly help local communities obtain more fresh food while supporting local farmers and addressing food insecurity:

  • Family gardens provide healthy fruits and vegetables for the family table.

  • School gardens provide fresh food and nourishment for children. It also teaches children how to grow food, keeping this valuable knowledge relevant, thus helping to combat long term food insecurity.

  • The community gardens offer fresh produce and places for the community to meet, even though they don't own any land. People can learn more about food production and develop new skills by starting community gardens. Even small gardens can make a significant impact on food insecurity.

  • Community supported agricultural means that local farmers sell their produce directly to the public. Farmers are paid before crops are planted. Then, the local farmers can distribute fresh produce, vegetables, and other food each week during harvest season. This investment helps local farmers to stay on the ground and keep their businesses afloat while also providing a steady supply of healthy foods.

  • Traditional seed supply programs ensure that they are always available. A wide range of seeds is essential for sustainable local farming as well as self-sufficiency.

Fair Prices for Healthy Food

Although the world produces enough food to feed everyone, people still suffer from hunger and food insecurity. This is due to the high food costs and the inaccessibility of healthy food for the most vulnerable.

Because food insecurity is such a massive problem, it is crucial that both buyers and sellers of food have fair prices. There are many ways that people can work together locally to ensure healthy food is readily available at fair prices:

  • Farmers markets lower transportation costs and eliminate the need to have merchants act as a middleman. This means that local farmers can make more and consumers spend less. Farmers' markets allow consumers to meet the local farmers directly and have a chance to talk with them. This allows too for the local farmers to learn about the needs of the consumers and inform themselves on what the local farmers do in order to provide their food to local communities.

  • Food co-ops are food markets that are owned or partially owned by workers and customers. Working at the market helps members of food coops pay a portion of their food bills. Food coops tend to sell local food, often times from local farmers.

  • Farmers cooperatives assist local farmers in getting better prices for their crops while still offering better prices to consumers and working to better food insecurity.

For specific information on the programs that Four Roots Farms runs locally, how we work to support local farmers, and how we do our part to address food insecurity - click here.

We look forward to continuing to support our local community with our fresh produce boxes direct from local farmers - combatting food insecurity is the driving force for everything we do - if you're interested in getting involved, you can read about that here.

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