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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Supporting local farms: Get fresh produce, berries, flowers, cheese and more using King County’s new Local Food Finder

Summary

King County’s new Local Food Finder interactive map offers a convenient way for residents to support local farms hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted farmers markets and restaurant sales. Residents can have fresh food and flowers delivered from local farms or place an online order for pick up directly at the farm.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine today launched Local Food Finder, an interactive map that identifies convenient ways customers can get fresh produce, berries, flowers, meat, honey, cheese, and more delivered from local farms to their doorstep, to a nearby pickup location, or picked up directly at the farm.

The mobile-friendly map is one of several ways King County is supporting local farmers who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted farmers markets and restaurant sales. It is a product of the Local Food Initiative that Executive Constantine created in 2014 to strengthen King County’s local food economy and increase equitable access to healthy, affordable food.

“We are making it easier than ever to get fresh food and flowers delivered directly from local farms or arrange for convenient pickup right at the farm,” said Executive Constantine. “Our new Local Food Finder is one of many ways we are supporting farmers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to mobilize resources and offer innovative solutions that connect farmers to more customers, strengthening our local food economy.”

Customers can use the free map to locate a wide range of locally grown food, flowers, and products in 10 categories:

Categories for Local Food Finder

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits, berries
  • Milk, cheese
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Grains
  • Flowers
  • Honey, jams, jellies
  • Soap, body care, candles

Customers can also search the map for the farms that are located nearby and offer u-pick or farm stand sales, order pickup, or order home delivery. The map also helps customers subscribe to a farm’s Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, program where farms deliver weekly boxes of their harvest.

Farm King County designed the website to make it easy for farmers to update food and product availability, new drop sites, and pick-up locations.

King County’s Local Food Team is conducting extensive outreach to local farms, including those owned and operated by immigrants and refugees, and made it quick and convenient to participate at no charge.

Emergency support for local farms during global pandemic

Farm King County has mobilized resource providers to help farm and food businesses respond to the challenges caused by COVID-19, including financial resources, advice on how to meet new public health directives, identifying new opportunities to connect with customers, and more. 

One example was helping farmers and food businesses enroll in a class on how to set up an online store, normally valued at $1,500, at no cost for 60 days. The resource hub also connected them to free counseling on how to navigate relief programs and a webinar, “Farm Resilience and COVID-19,” hosted by Washington Young Farmers Coalition.

Supporting flower farmers hit particularly hard

Local flower farmers – many of whom are non-native English speakers and do not have websites – have been hit particularly hard during, not only by the global pandemic, but by winter flooding into their fields. Farmers markets, where they sell the majority of their flowers, have been closed or postponed while weddings and other events that traditionally supplement their revenue have been cancelled.

“Many flower growers also use revenue from flower sales to purchase seeds for vegetables and for other farming costs throughout the season,” said Leigh Newman-Bell, Pike Place Farm Development Coordinator. “Without flower sales at farmers markets, flower farmers may not be able to grow vegetables and support other aspects of their farm businesses.”

Relevant links


Quotes

We are making it easier than ever to get fresh food and flowers delivered from local farms directly to your doorstep or to a convenient pick-up location. Our new interactive map is one of many ways we are supporting local farmers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to mobilize resources and offer innovative solutions that connect farmers to more customers, strengthening our local food economy.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Many residents in urban and suburban communities want to support King County’s farmers and enjoy locally grown food but don’t know where to begin. The Local Food Finder changes that, making it convenient for customers to support our region’s local food economy.

Claudia Balducci, King County Council Chair

The Local Food Finder is just one of many ways that King County is helping farmers throughout the region overcome the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted our neighborhood farmers markets. This creative program will help farmers recover from the impacts of COVID-19 as it connects them with new customers. The interactive map feature will make it easy for residents to access great food and flowers while supporting local farms.

Kathy Lambert, King County Councilmember

For more information, contact:

Chad Lewis, Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-263-1250


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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