Skip to content
CityLab
Economy

How to Fix Food Supply Chains? Make Them More Local

Illinois is connecting farms to food banks to help battle hunger and inflation

Workers at the Rendleman Orchards packing facility in Alto Pass, Illinois.
Workers at the Rendleman Orchards packing facility in Alto Pass, Illinois.

Photograph courtesy: Michelle Sirles

Food banks in Illinois got a special treat last year: more than 600,000 pounds of peaches, nectarines and apples. Marred by a dimple here or there, the fruit was bounty that previously might have been left to rot, deemed unsuitable for grocery stores.

Instead, a three-year pilot program distributed tons of such fresh fruit to food pantries, shelters, senior centers and other groups serving people in need. The Farm to Food Bank project shores up local supply chains by creating another market for local growers, while also eliminating food waste and relieving hunger.