Connect2Direct is a part of RAFI’s Beyond Hunger Relief program. In partnership with Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), we aim to identify, develop and expand sustainable solutions to food insecurity that also work to strengthen just and sustainable agriculture.
Connect2Direct aims to dramatically increase farm to consumer direct sales and the usage of EBT/SNAP at farmers markets in NC by:
- providing training and technical assistance to markets and market vendors
- creating effective marketing and outreach campaigns
- facilitating the transactional process for EBT/SNAP, and
- building statewide capacity and efficiency to ensure all North Carolinians have access to fresh foods grown by local farmers.
ASAP and RAFI have partnered in this work to support and build equitable community-based local food economies through the development of direct markets for farmers in North Carolina.
Project collaborators include UNC’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, NC Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, and select farmers markets across the state.
Learning Community Case Studies
To accomplish our aim of increasing farm to consumer direct sales and the usage of EBT/SNAP at farmers markets in NC, we established Learning Communities: farmers’ markets which, with technical assistance from RAFI and ASAP, could serve as a testing ground from which other markets could learn. From the Learning Communities project, RAFI has produced four case studies, linked below, to share insights on specific market topics in an effort to increase knowledge on the challenges farmers’ markets face, and strategies on how they can sustain themselves and better engage their community.
- Sustaining a Farmers’ Market through Diverse Funding Strategies
A Case Study of the Durham Farmers’ Market
- Farmers’ Market Challenges in a Rural Setting
A Case Study of the Elaney Wood Heritage Farmers Market
For more information about this area of work and to learn about available resources and upcoming events, visit the Connect2Direct project website: Connect2Direct.org