Amid the devastating effects of COVID-19 on agriculture and food systems in 2020, SAFSF quickly launched a response program to convene, educate and organize funders, and unify a philanthropic voice around policy.
In March, we convened 112 participants from 89 organizations through three calls for various funder constituencies to share information at the start of pandemic response.
- “In the Kitchen” Call for SAFSF members
- Briefing and Strategy Session with leaders of national agriculture and food systems practitioner/advocate coalitions
- Coordinators strategy call for leaders of regional and interest-specific food funder networks and collaborative funds across the U.S.
In April, 60 participants from 45 SAFSF member organizations took part in our COVID-19 Rapid Response strategy call series for collaboration on six key topics:
- Food insecurity, emergency food assistance, and hunger relief
- Support for farmers, ranchers, fishers, food producers, and agricultural workers
- Advocacy for COVID-19 policy and funding priorities
- Impacts on farmers markets, food retail, restaurants, and food chain workers
- International food/ag system response to COVID-19
- Food hubs, value chain, and distribution
Response Funds for Food and Ag
We created an extensive online resource of food/agriculture-specific COVID-19 philanthropic response and recovery funds, listing more than 60 funds to date.
We spearheaded two advocacy sign-on letters regarding COVID-19 government response to the agriculture and food systems sector and signed on to other letters organized by others in philanthropy.
With our colleagues at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), we facilitated a series of four regional calls, opening and strengthening lines of communication between 52 funder participants and agriculture department heads plus senior staff from 23 states.