Fresh Food Connect: Increasing Access of Fresh and Local Produce and Supporting Resilient Communities

by Helen Katich CEO, Fresh Food Connect

Fresh Food Connect prides itself in building a strong, hyper-local, and resilient food system.  Now more than ever, the importance of this work is undeniable. Fresh Food Connect is prepared with technology and expertise to connect food pantries around the country with fresh, local produce to stock the shelves during the growing season.

Fresh Food Connect aims to create a more equitable, healthier, and resilient food system by connecting homegrown produce to hunger relief organizations. Fresh Food Connect licenses technology to organizations who use the mobile app to coordinate the aggregation of homegrown produce to be donated and used to create positive change in the local organization’s or “operator’s” food system. Gardeners sign up via Fresh Food Connect’s mobile app and indicate when they have extra produce, and from there, the local nonprofit operator receives or picks up the donations to redistribute it in their local communities. In collaboration with hunger-relief organizations, Fresh Food Connect encourages gardeners to plant for abundance and currently facilitates the donation of food from gardens that might otherwise go to waste in twenty-three different zip codes throughout the state of Colorado. Fresh Food Connect continues to grow its impact by partnering with organizations around the country. 

Fresh Food Connect is…

  • creating a more localized food system, which reduces food miles, and requires less fossil fuels for distribution. 
  • building community resiliency by diversifying the food sources available directly in community
  • decreasing hunger and food insecurity by increasing the amount of nutritious available produce for those most in need in the community.
  • reducing food waste, a major global contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. 
  • creating social benefits by increasing access to healthy food and connecting community members.
  • easy to operate on a small budget and is now offering its technology nationally!

Through Fresh Food Connect, operators are able to increase their communities’ access to the freshest, most nutritious food available, picked that day and grown with care in their own community. Fresh Food Connect is working with nonprofits nationally to fulfill their missions, end hunger, and build resiliency in the food system. Now more than ever, supporting and increasing communities’ resiliency in the food system is imperative. While still addressing immediate needs, hunger relief organizations will need to consider long-term solutions for healthy food procurement. Learn more about how your community can build resiliency, share their bounty, and increase healthy food access all at the same time!

Helen Katich has dedicated her career building organizations and participating in efforts that work towards health equity.  Over the last ten years, Helen has served in a capacity of roles from Co-Founder, Director, Project Manager and Board Member of several hunger relief organizations including Boulder Food Rescue, Food Rescue Alliance, and Metro Caring.  She now serves as the CEO of  Fresh Food Connect, allowing her to share her  passion for gardening and food access.