FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/29/2020
Demand for Local Food Skyrockets in Pandemic Crisis
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Demand for local food on Harvie’s farm-to-consumer platform is up over 200% in COVID-19 crisis.
“It’s a convergence of factors,” says Simon Huntley of Harvie, “all of a sudden as grocery stores have been emptied, restaurants are closed, people are cooking at home more, and people want to take care of their health. In response, they want to secure local food directly from their local farmers.”
Harvie works with over 150 farms across the United States and Canada helping farms run a farm share which is a farm membership program (inspired by Community Supported Agriculture – CSA – programs) where local consumers can buy a flexible, customizable membership from a local farm and get deliveries throughout the growing season direct from their local farm. Consumers also have the option of purchasing one time orders through the farms.
“We’ve never seen demand quite like this for food from our farmers. We sent out an email to a few hundred people offering a home delivered farm box and ended up receiving more than an order per minute until we had to shut down sign ups. We originally weren’t planning to make deliveries until May, but circumstances have changed. For now the demand is outstripping the infrastructure for deliveries. We are working to expand our capacity to meet the expanded demand,” says Neil Stauffer, General Manager of Harvie Farms Pittsburgh which organizes home deliveries from multiple farms in the Pittsburgh area.
Buying a Harvie farm share or a CSA box from a farmer is a concrete way to support individual health, support a farmer, and ensure high quality food in the kitchen all season long.
Lisa Duff from Oak Spring Farm in Freeland, Maryland says, “There is an outburst of demand by customers who’ve never purchased from us before. People are grateful, thanking us for selling food direct and earlier in the season than we ever have. First time customers are marveling over the beauty of our fresh harvested greens, beets and radishes from our high tunnels. It feels good to provide our healthy, nutrient dense food in these uncertain times. It feels good to be part of the solution. Food is medicine!”