(KEYC) — While America’s food system is tested and food supply becomes a concern, one Minnesotan is taking matters into her own hands and connecting local producers directly to consumers.
With processing plants closing and now opening at limited capacity, restaurants using much less product and the export market paused for a moment, many farmers and ranchers are left with product that has nowhere to go.
“I wanted to try to do something to bring those two avenues together and so far it looks like it’s happening,” said Sazzy Calhoun, creator and admin of the Facebook group Farm Direct Minnesota.
The group started on May 5 as a simple way to connect local producers in Minnesota directly to consumers.
“It’s just so sad to think this day and age that’s where we are when people are hungry, so I thought what could I do, so I searched around to see what I could do and I stumbled across Farm Direct Wisconsin," said Calhoun.
Calhoun modeled the Farm Direct Minnesota group after the Wisconsin version and the group quickly grew from a few hundred to more than 26,000 and growing.
“And when you see people say, thank you so much I was able to find whatever product they were looking for, that’s a great thing, you know it fed that family and it also put food on that farmer’s table,” said Calhoun.
The group has gone above and beyond the first goal of simply connecting local producers to consumers.
“These farmers and vendors are taking the time out to educate, and true you could probably Google it, but this is more. It’s very personal, it makes you love humanity again,” said Calhoun.
Calhoun said she plans to turn the group into a website people can access in the future so after the food system stabilizes, consumers can continue to buy their product directly from producers.