Illinois Farm Bureau Online Directory Aims to Reduce Food Waste, Connect Local Farms and Nonprofits

ILLINOIS FARM BUREAU ONLINE DIRECTORY AIMS TO
REDUCE FOOD WASTE, CONNECT LOCAL FARMS AND NONPROFITS

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                              Aug. 16, 2022

CONTACT:

               Raghela Scavuzzo
               Illinois Farm Bureau®
               Associate Director of Food Systems Development
               309-557-2155
               rscavuzzo@ilfb.org

BLOOMINGTON – Local farms with excess product can now connect with food banks and nonprofits in their area to provide marked-down food items or donations through the Donations and Discounts Depot, a new Illinois Farm Bureau program aimed at reducing food waste.

The Donations and Discounts Depot is an online buy-sell forum integrated into MarketMaker and hosted by the Illinois Specialty Growers Association where farmers can create listings for bulk products at either a discounted price, or as a donation for food banks and other nonprofit organizations.

“We know that our farms have a product that doesn’t always have a market or a home,” said Raghela Scavuzzo, Illinois Farm Bureau associate director of food systems development. “The Donations and Discounts Depot is an expanded opportunity available through MarketMaker for not just food banks and food pantries, but for other food-security programs that are also looking for fresh produce and other products.”

Farmers set their own parameters for how much food is available, price, and if transportation is needed through free virtual advertisements within the Donations and Discounts Depot within MarketMaker. Buyers and sellers can have secure transactions through the support of Food4All.

For a limited time, a small group of farmers and nonprofits are invited to register for a soft launch of the Donations and Discounts Depot program. Registration will run through Sept. 1, and a training day for how to utilize the buy-sell forum will be held on Sept. 7. Participating farmers and nonprofits will then be able to begin listing/purchasing produce starting Sept 12 through the fall season. The program will launch in full in January 2023.

Those interested in participating in the soft launch can set up free accounts through their respective google doc form: buyers: https://forms.gle/gjy7BY5P8eEpo7Uw8; or sellers: https://forms.gle/Q4v3t47Y4PNeAMKo7.

“We are thrilled to be part of this partnership with Farm Bureau and the dedicated team of organizations they have brought together,” said Darlene Knipe, co-founder and director of the National Food MarketMaker Program. “It’s tragic that so much food goes to waste in this country when so many people go to bed hungry. This project will not only make a difference in Illinois, but we believe it will become the blueprint for other MarketMaker affiliated organizations around the country.”

Illinois Farm Bureau is funding the program to further the Farm-to-Food Bank Program, a collaborative effort between Feeding Illinois, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Specialty Growers Association, the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Illinois Farmers Market Association and University of Illinois Extension.

“We believe with a system like this we are reducing the barriers for farmers to connect with those who are looking for food and easing the transition for nonprofits to find food,” said Stephen Ericson, executive director of Feeding Illinois.

For more information about the Donations and Discounts Depot program, contact Raghela Scavuzzo, Illinois Farm Bureau associate director of food systems development, by phone at 309-557-2155, or by email at rscavuzzo@ilfb.org.

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About Illinois Farm Bureau:

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 386,291 and a voting membership of 79,159. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

About Illinois Specialty Growers Association:

The purpose of Illinois Specialty Growers Association (ISGA) is the promotion and development of the Illinois specialty crop industry. ISGA was formed in 1989 to improve the coordination and cooperation among our individual associations. ISGA is an umbrella organization for the following affiliated associations: Illinois Herb Association, Illinois Irrigation Association, Illinois State Horticultural Society and Illinois Vegetable Growers Association.

About Illinois MarketMaker:

MarketMaker is the platform and database that powers the IFB Live Local, Shop Local directory. Additionally, MarketMaker is a digital information network that crowd sources information from farms and food related businesses. The information is compiled into individual profiles based on business or farm type and placed in a searchable mappable directory that can be shared across partner web sites.  MarketMaker is a networked community of users across the food supply chain that can identify potential customers, food sources, processors and distributors.

About Food4All:

Food4All is the ecommerce platform that enables food producers and farmers to conduct online transactions with consumers utilizing the Donations and Discounts Depot through IFB Live Local, Shop Local directory powered by MarketMaker. Food4All’s technology aims to connect people with local, sustainably grown food and food producers by creating and supporting online markets.

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