2023 is off to a good start in the world of food waste! As the year turned, the Food Donation Improvement Act (FDIA), which we were a proud advocate of throughout 2022, was signed into law. This leafy new piece of legislation aims to tackle the beast that is retail food waste by clarifying the extent of retail donors’ liability for donated food. In 2019, 10.5 million tons of food were thrown away by stores. These businesses feared civil or criminal liability for the quality of food they were distributing, and so many chose to throw away perfectly good food rather than allow it to feed hungry individuals. Under the FDIA, regulations are broadened and clarified to make it easier for retailers to now donate surplus food. We hope to see an increase in the amount of food that makes it to Rhode Island’s food distribution sites soon!
Revive the Roots is an impressive project for many reasons, of which their gorgeous crops are only one. On the 23-acre plot of land they rehabilitated and steward in Smithfield, RI, the Revive the Roots team fosters diverse landscapes and programs to gather, create, learn about, and grow food in the community. The walking trails and gardens at Mowry Commons are free to visit and open to the public 365 days a year.
It’s the season for indoor farmers markets in Rhode Island! Find farmers markets near you across the state that are open fall through spring, and see which markets accept SNAP/EBT and Bonus Bucks.
In the Balise Healing Garden of the Hasbro Children’s Hospital courtyard, vines of tomatoes and beans wind from planters up pillars and spread across the gray sidewalks. Signs everywhere teach children about vegetables, encouraging them to eat the rain …
Movement Ground Farm is a nonprofit located in Tiverton, RI, that incorporates social movement with farming. As part of its social justice mission, Movement Ground Farm strives to grow and increase equity in the regional food system, to raise awareness about land and food access, and to provide a space for people of color to reflect and connect with the healing properties of the earth. Learn more in this local farm spotlight by volunteer writer Tracey Beck.
Sodco, one of the largest sod producers in New England, and Hope’s Harvest, Farm Fresh RI’s hunger relief program, may seem to be an unlikely duo. The former grows acres upon acres of different varieties of sod, while the latter mobilizes volunteers to …
After 16 years at Farm Fresh Rhode Island, Co-Executive Director Sheri Griffin will be stepping down in December 2022. In Sheri’s time at Farm Fresh RI, the organization has grown from a student-led project in shared office space in a basement at Brown …
If you’re seeking a true farm-to-table experience, look no further than Baffoni’s Poultry Farm in Johnston. This family-run farm, started by Adam Baffoni’s great grandfather Giuseppe in 1935, produces the freshest chicken and turkey for Rhode Island and beyond. Adam is among the fourth generation of Baffonis to contribute, and he has been involved in farm operations periodically since he was a child. After taking a ten-year hiatus to go to college and become a chef, he returned to help the family at the start of the COVID pandemic and has stuck around ever since. Learn more in this local farm spotlight by volunteer writer Keri Biron.
Each week on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Hope’s Harvest box truck pulls up at the green loading dock doors of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, drooping slightly under the weight of thousands of pounds of freshly gleaned produce. The Food Bank’s warehouse team is always ready to meet us; equipped with smiles, banter, and a forklift, they are primed to move this produce through their many programs and partners across the state to help get food into the homes of RI’s food insecure population.
The Farm to School food system gets healthy and nourishing food to our kids. But what is it and why is it so important? From schools and policymakers to parents and farmers, and more — it takes a community to ensure quality foods are passed down the table to students every day, in a sustainable way. And there is a whole community of dedicated folks whose wellbeing is in direct correlation with that of our kids. At each stop along the way of the Farm to School journey, there’s an opportunity to live out values to make the whole system equitable and the food the best it can be. Healthy school meals are a right, not a privilege, and universal school meals are a necessity.
October’s National Farm to School Month shines a light on the local farmers and producers that meet cafeteria purchasing needs all across the country. Farm Fresh Rhode Island is proud to shine our local light on our neighboring apple orchards that grow …
We were thrilled to see this article by Scott Pickering in “Easy Bay RI” about our Hope’s Harvest team’s farm visit to Movement Ground Farm last week. We love seeing our partners at the RI Food Policy Council highlighted — they did great work organizing this event and bringing our local policymakers out to see what we can do when we all work together!
Tucked away in a flowery corner of Seekonk, Massachusetts, Osamequin Farm is an oasis of cooperative, sustainable farming practices that doubles as a community space for educational events, seasonal gatherings, and so much more. Since 2021, Hope’s Harvest has contracted with Osamequin Farm, purchasing their produce and distributing it to food pantries around Rhode Island. This summer, we interviewed Osamequin Farm to learn more about them and share their incredible work with you all.
We are proud to support and carry out the mission of the National Farm to School Network in the state of Rhode Island. Our team is dedicated to increasing access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms, and cultivate vibrant communities. We envision a nation in which farm to school programs are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, ensuring the health of all school children, farms, environment, economy and communities.