RESEARCH PROJECT: The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA)
The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) is a nonprofit that collects excess food from farms, farmers’ markets, and processing facilities and then donates that food to hungry Tennessee neighbors.
In an effort to better support the agricultural community, we are partnering with the State of Tennessee to understand how much surplus fresh produce is available in fields. Tennessee growers are phenomenal producers with great yields, but markets aren’t always available to absorb the healthy, fresh surplus. During the 2021 growing season, SoSA volunteers and staff will be active in Tennessee, collecting data in the field that will describe this surplus.
We ask you to help us with this research! Farm staff, time and resources will not be needed for data collection, but access to fields is critical. As we will be in the field after the harvest, we ask for your understanding. We carry several types of liability insurance on our staff and volunteers, and we are very experienced farm workers, having started in 1983!
We will use anonymous, aggregated field data to advocate for producers’ needs such as:
budgetary support for food recovery
regional availability of value-added processing centers
more seasonal and more specific state-based marketing campaigns
allocate resources where they are needed to provide new outlets for growers
Even now, we are supporting state policy changes that will increase the benefits of donating surplus food. We want to implement a tax credit that will go above and beyond existing tax deductions that don’t provide a realistic incentive to donate fresh farm produce.
When we collect data, we’ll also give that data to you. It will describe how much more potentially marketable produce is still harvest-able. In addition, you’ll receive our standard form describing your fresh produce donation for your tax records.
Consider partnership with the Society of St. Andrew, especially this year! Your name and farm name will not be used, and your data will be aggregated with statewide data.
Contact SoSA’s Tennessee office if you have questions, or if you’re interested in participating. If you decide to be part of the project, we’ll ask for very basic information such as: crops, expected harvest end dates, row spacing, and location.