Keeping Farm-to-Fork Afloat During COVID-19
(May 4, 2020) – Downtown Sacramento Foundation today announced the launch of Fork 2 Farm Relief Grants – a new microgrant program in collaboration with Visit Sacramento, Downtown Sacramento Partnership, through funding from Bank of America – that aims to relieve some of the financial burden for our local farming, restaurant and food-related retail community. The relief grants will support the critical supply chain and food access in America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, both in this time of triage and as the community looks to recovery and reopening.
The fate of our independent restaurants and food-related retailers are inextricably linked with the region’s small farms for fresh produce, meats, and ingredients to create the unparalleled farm-to-fork menus and products that have inspired our regional identity. Restaurants and retailers are struggling to stay open and remain financially viable during the pandemic and the farms that rely on their patronage are in crisis. The loss of these critical businesses will leave a gap in the critical role they play in our community’s food supply chain.
“Farm-to-fork isn’t just what makes our city fun and unique – it’s also a very real and critical part of our local business community,” said Sacramento’s Bank of America Market President Matt McCormack. “This program was designed to help provide some much-needed support to our farms and restaurants so that these vital businesses can continue operating.”
Local restaurants and food-related retailers that are located in the Central City can nominate small farm and agricultural suppliers or vendors located in the six-county region for microgrants, which will cover the expense of their overdue or currently due invoice(s). Selected applications will receive grants that will be directly remitted for payment to nominated farms to cover the amount(s) due. This unique process will provide immediate financial support to local small farms, while also alleviating debt or upcoming expenses for local businesses.
The Fork 2 Farm Relief Grants will be distributed by the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, with support from Visit Sacramento and Downtown Sacramento Partnership, through a $100,000 grant from Bank of America.
Restaurants and food-related retailers can apply online today at DowntownSac.org/Fork2Farm with the first phase of funding scheduled to be awarded within the next two weeks. Fork 2 Farm Relief Grants will be reviewed weekly and awarded for as long as funds remain available, up to $2,500 per grant, or $5,000 (cumulative) per farm or vendor.
“We’re grateful to be able to step in to provide this instant support to our businesses,” said Michael Ault, Executive Director of Downtown Sacramento Partnership and the Downtown Sacramento Foundation. “There is so much uncertainty right now. To be able to assist both our businesses and their local suppliers, that play such a critical role in their food supply, will help us make a larger impact.”
“Sacramento was America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital long before the concept had a name,” said Visit Sacramento President & CEO Mike Testa. “To keep our heritage alive through this crisis, we have to support our farms and restaurants however we can to offer them some financial relief so that their businesses can thrive once the crisis subsides and so this identity lives on into the future.”
About Downtown Sacramento Foundation
Established in 2011, Downtown Sacramento Foundation (DSF) is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 that supports programs that complement Downtown Sacramento Partnership priorities to improve the economic, physical, cultural and social environment to foster civic pride.
About Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Downtown Sacramento Partnership is a not-for-profit, property-based improvement district (PBID) that serves as the collective advocate, champion and steward for those who work, live, visit and do business within the 66-block district it manages in Sacramento’s urban core.
About Visit Sacramento
Visit Sacramento works to improve the quality of life for locals by driving visitor spending that supports our local business community, creates jobs and makes Sacramento a better place to call home.
As the premier economic development and services organization for the region’s convention and tourism industry, Visit Sacramento develops and executes sales, marketing and customer service programs, along with special events, designed to draw overnight visitors to the city and create market prestige. Brands operating under the Visit Sacramento umbrella include America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Sacramento Sports Commission, Sacramento365 (a joint partnership with Convention & Cultural Services and the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission) and Sac Event Crew.