FARMERS TO FAMILIES
WHAT IS THE FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY FOR FARMERS TO FAMILIES?
Facilitated by CityServe, the Faith-Based Community for Farmers to Families is an expansive collaborative community of churches and faith-based nonprofits across the United States aimed to deliver USDA Farmers to Families food boxes through the “Last Mile of Need.” This collaborative community mobilizes the local church to serve individuals and families who have fallen between the gaps and have unmet food needs. As of August 2020, over 3.5 million food boxes have been distributed through the Faith-Based Community to feed hungry families.
Churches and faith-based nonprofits are uniquely positioned to reach people in the “Last Mile of Need” because they are in close relationship with their neighbors and most aware of the needs and specific circumstances in their community. They have the capacity to serve vulnerable seniors, shut-ins, at-risk children, food-insecure families, and the homeless. The Faith-Based Community for Farmers to Families includes many organizations such as CityServe, World Vision, Convoy of Hope, Citygate Network (Gospel Rescue Missions), Teen Challenge, The Dream Centers, 180 Disaster Relief, Operation Border Blessing and a host of churches across the nation.
HOW ARE THE FOOD BOXES DISTRIBUTED TO CHURCHES AND FAITH-BASED NONPROFITS?
- A HUB is a church or organization with the capacity and space to be a distribution center of food boxes to local churches, also known as PODs (point of distribution), in its geographical region. HUBs receive Farmers to Families truckloads from USDA-approved suppliers. HUBs can directly serve the “Last Mile of Need” or distribute to PODs.
- A POD is a local church or nonprofit that receives food boxes from its assigned HUB and meet the needs of its neighborhood with compassionate giving and relationship building.
- In many instances, we’re developing franchised affiliates across different geographical regions that operate in conjunction with the HUB & POD distribution model.
WHAT WILL I NEED TO BE A SUCCESSFUL HUB?
1. Logistics & Warehouse
- Forklift and pallet jack for unloading
- Ability to maintain cold chain through delivery with either one of the following
- Cold blankets or plastics used to cover food boxes from 0-2 hours of leaving HUB
- Freezer blankets used to cover food boxes in enclosed vehicle or trailer from 2-4 hours of leaving HUB
- Refrigeration space – on-site refrigerated 53-foot semi-truck (aka, reefers) or large walk-in cooler when unloading/distribution is NOT the same day as
- If utilizing reefers, need the ability to maintain and refuel reefers. Each reefer typically needs to be refueled every 3-4 days with approximately 40-50 gallons. Local fuel
companies can be hired to refuel for approximately $2-3/gallon.
- Ability to certify “means testing” by asking or displaying signage that individuals
receiving a food box are deemed needy or food insecure
2. Committed Staff and/or Volunteer Base
- Unload truck deliveries with forklift into cold storage space or to POD pickup transportation vehicles.
- Coordinate pickup and/or delivery times with PODs.
- Manage ongoing communication and coordination of POD churches to ensure the successful distribution of F2F food boxes.
- Train PODs and provide oversight on the proper distribution model.
- Enforce safety policies and USDA “means testing” requirements throughout all HUB partners and POD volunteer activities (e.g. physical distancing, utilizing masks at all times, hand washing and sanitizing practices, etc.)
DO I NEED TO REPORT FOOD BOXES RECEIVED AND DISTRIBUTED?
Yes. To get your HUB on the map for truckload deliveries and mandatory reporting and tracking, please download the HUB CityServe app and register your HUB with your city’s name. Once your HUB is registered, please invite your PODs to download the POD CityServe app, register their church POD, and connect with your HUB. When a delivery is received at your HUB, a signed Bill of Lading in the app will automatically create a truckload. When PODs sign for food box acceptance in the POD CityServe app, the receipt will report to the corresponding HUB.
HOW CAN I SHARE STORIES OF IMPACT?
To extend your ministry and gain influence in your community, we advise HUBs and PODs to utilize the HERO CityServe app. The HERO CityServe app is designed to track the distribution of food boxes and GIK by households, mobilize the church body with relationship building and discipleship, and testify to God’s work through His church, most especially new salvations. The media stream in the app allows users to post photos and stories of lives impacted.
WHAT TYPES OF FOOD ARE IN THE FOOD BOXES?
HOW LONG WILL THE USDA FARMERS TO FAMILIES FOOD BOX PROGRAM LAST?
HOW DO I START?
We believe God’s answer to a broken world is His church. We are grateful you have decided to join us in being the hands and feet of Jesus in the “Last Mile of Need.” To sign up your facility as a CityServe HUB or POD please go to www.cityservenetwork.com/farmerstofamilies.