IFFS 20 Year Partnership with NC State Farmers Market Yields Over 50 Million Pounds of Fresh Produce for Local People Facing Food Hardship


Today, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle celebrates its 20 year partnership with the NC State Farmers Market by recovering fresh North Carolina produce, as the Food Shuttle has done six days a week since June 12th, 1991.

The impact of this two-decade partnership is immense -- 50 million pounds of fresh food donated by the farmers, retailers and wholesalers of the NC State Farmers Market delivered to agencies providing food to people in need.

As in most things, it started with one person who wanted to do something good. That person was Barbara Johnson, a farmer from McCullers, NC. Barbara donated one Wednesday afternoon in June 1991 and by the end of the following week, everyone on the Market was participating.

IFFS volunteers would pick up the daily unsellables from the wholesalers and the truckers in the morning and the farmers and retailers in the afternoon. For the first time area soup kitchens and shelters could serve their guests fresh fruits and vegetables -- the most nutritious foods that were impossible to get before Farmer Johnson’s donations.

Jill Staton Bullard, co-founder and one of those original volunteers at the State Farmers Market said, "The summer of 1991 was a critical turning point for us. We had to decide where to spend our energies and we decided to go with fresh foods. Between 1990 and 1991 IFFS experienced a 1,542% increase of food donations because of our partnership with the State Farmers' Market. We went from 12,500 pounds of food recovered from restaurants and grocery stores in 1990 to192,850 in 1991 because of the wonderful donors of fresh fruits and veggies at the NC State Farmers Market. "

"When Jill and I first met we hit it off right off the bat when I worked for the USDA as an egg inspector. She has always been concerned that healthy food reaches people who are hungry instead of being thrown out,” commented Market Manager Ronnie Best. "Because of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, our farmers are able to do so much more than recycle food. Unsold produce is collected by the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. The Food Shuttle redistributes it to people who are hungry. When food is not fit for human consumption, the Food Shuttle composts it for use on their teaching farm. That way food donations that are not used to feed folks are feeding the soil. This is a great partnership for us and we are happy to join with the Food Shuttle in marking this anniversary.”


Inter-Faith Food Shuttle pioneers innovative, transformative solutions designed to end hunger in our community.