Emergency Food + Farm Fund for Greater DMV/VA

The Problem: School closures and empty grocery store shelves are much more than an inconvenience for some. Children, the elderly, those experiencing homelessness, and others who rely on free and reduced-price food are in many places being forced to find new ways to get the nutrition they depend on. At the same time, the need for emergency food in the greater DMV and VA region that 4P serves is likely to grow dramatically in the coming weeks and months as more and more people find themselves under- or unemployed or without access to their usual sources of food.

46236372_1584465418183840_r.jpegEmpty grocery store shelves in Charlottesville on March 16, 2020. Photo credit: Laura Brown.

The (Evolving) Solution:
We at 4P Foods have come together with a diverse coalition of partners across DC, VA, and MD to address this crisis. Representing local agriculture, food access, and social services organizations, the Mid-Atlantic Food Resilience and Access Coalition (MAFRAC) aims to coordinate efforts to keep people fed, farmers growing, and small food businesses operating in the face of COVID-19. We are mobilizing schools, food hubs, food banks, commercial kitchens, taxi and delivery fleets, and more to form a supply chain that will get nutrient-dense food to those who need it, whether at a community pick-up site or at home. 

46236372_1584567434328906_r.jpegCulinary training program and community kitchen. Photo credit: DC Central Kitchen.

The Need: We are raising $10M for this emergency feeding effort as a larger coalition, but 4P Foods also have very immediate needs right now to keep doing the work we are doing. We have warehouse space, trucks, food, and a great team that we are already mobilizing to address this crisis, but we need more of all of those things so that we can continue feeding our communities and supporting our farmers. In normal times, our goal is to help farmers not just survive, but thrive. These are not normal times, though, and survival alone is a pressing need.

46236372_1584567535867843_r.jpegDelivery truck full of donations at Martha's Table. Photo credit: Martha's Table.

A Message from 4P's Founder, Tom McDougall: "Without imminent, collaborative, and creative action, the potential damage from this crisis is immense. I think about how many people will go hungry or without access to good, fresh food; how many farms will have their last growing season this year; how many tipped and gig economy workers just had their incomes dry up. I think of the 40+ million people in this country who are one paycheck away from financial ruin, and that 7 of the 10 lowest paying jobs in this country are in the food system. But in seeing the way this coalition and the larger food community has come together, I have realized that there is an opportunity here to not only fight back, but to potentially come out stronger on the other side."

About 4P Foods: 4P is a food hub and benefit corporation whose mission is to help small farms thrive while ensuring that all people—regardless of income, race, or zip code— have access to Good Food. Over the last five years, 4P has built an extensive food distribution network, starting with direct delivery of personalized CSA-style shares and expanding in 2019 to wholesale to retailers, institutions, and restaurants. This past February, 4P Foods and our partner Local Food Hub helped lead the formation of the Eastern Food Hub Collaborative, representing 14 food hubs and over 600 farms across the mid-Atlantic. Then, when it started becoming clear how much the COVID-19 pandemic would impact agriculture, small business, and food access, 4P stepped up to help launch and lead a regional emergency response effort, which has become the MAFRAC.

46236372_1584481013437485_r.jpegTom McDougall at Sunnyside Farm in Washington, VA. Photo credit: 4P Foods.

Your generosity helps 4P serve good food to those who need it and helps us support some of the great local farmers, producers, and food businesses in our local foodshed— such as Schuyler Greens, Don Sebestian, Ula Tortilla, A La Carte Catering, and many others that we regularly source food from each week.

46236372_1584567663663915_r.jpegFresh Farmacy Program. Photo credit: Local Food Hub.

For more information about resources available during this crisis, as well as other organizations working on emergency food access that you can support with your money or your time, please check out this page about Emergency Food Access from the DC Food Project. To learn more about 4P Foods, please visit the website.

Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 8 d
  • Sarabel Comtois 
    • $10 
    • 12 d
  • lawrence uman 
    • $118 
    • 13 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 14 d
  • Gerry Gingrich 
    • $250 
    • 15 d
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Tom McDougall 
Warrenton, VA
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