Annual Community Report
It brings me joy to report to our entire community what a wonderful year we have just finished. Never perfect – always room for improvement – but wonderful nonetheless.
This fall after all your efforts to share Farmers To You and our efforts to get the word out, we increased our number to a new high of feeding 900 families. We also ended our financial year in the black! Really! It has been a long journey to get to a place where we are financially sustainable, but we are there. Here are our condensed financials and if you are good at reading these you will see that we have more work to do and lots of debt to pay back… but we’re gaining momentum now.
One of my best memories of the year is our Equinox Celebration this past September. I’m just going to share the video our photographer created – and if you don’t smile as much as I do when I watch it…well, you’ll just have to come next year and see for yourself! Mark your calendars for the weekend of September 21st and 22nd and come celebrate our community with us and your farmers.
Other highlights of the year:
- We brought on two new members to our core team:
- Jean Hamilton as our Comptroller and team lead for Communications and Outreach – yes, she’s amazing at the numbers and a talented marketer too!
- Olivia Newhall-Thayer joins our Boston team to help make sure all goes well for you, and to get the good word out about Farmers To You to the greater Boston area.
- Our donation program to the Barre Food Shelf has doubled this year!
- This year we sent $25,849.50 of Farmers To You food to families in need. Thank you to everyone who donated and to our staff who give their time and efforts to this great cause.
- We added many new food offerings from area farms, and our Home and Health category has blossomed with the addition of soaps, salves, health tonics, and even clean healthy food for your pets!
- Together we have created $1,688,500 of income to our farmers this year alone! That is $0.64 cents of every dollar you spend — easily 3 ½ times the revenue that goes to farmers and producers for the same dollar you spend at the supermarket. This is essential to our farmers’ livelihoods considering the further consolidation of big supermarkets that has locked out many of these amazing farmers and their food.
- We have new sites and expanded delivery service – check them out!
- We (you really) continue to have the highest retention rates anyone has ever seen for a food system model such as ours. Over 70% of new families who join us are still part of our community a year later. That confirms it – this system is working and you love it!
- I also have to acknowledge that many many of you have been with us since the very beginning and we could never have done it without your partnership and your deep and lasting support.
Looking forward to 2019, we are thrilled to share our progress and our plans!
- Already this year, we opened a new site at the Wellesley Office Park in partnership with John Hancock Real Estate.
- We continue to improve our communications with you, sharing news, recipes, events and tips to help transform our food system and communities.
- Seasonal food availability and selection is growing as we improve our planning and communications with our partner farmers.
- Website improvements will streamline weekly ordering on all devices.
- Collaborations with movement partners such as Oxfam raise awareness of the effect of our food choices in the world.
- We are working with our investors and new partners to raise equity by selling stock in Farmers To You.
- Our changing company structure will improve our communications and outreach and prepare us to spread the benefits of our model to other communities of farmers and families.
- We continue to hold our service to our community of families and farmers as our highest goal.
Thank you again for a wonderful year and for your incredible support. We all love what we do and we relish in doing the simple tasks impeccably every week of the year. We honor what it takes for our families to change the culture of convenience by taking charge of who is feeding them, and we honor our partner farmers and food producers for the craft, love and caring they bring to the food that nourishes us!
See you all soon in Boston or in Vermont next September!
With love and gratitude,
Greg and The Whole Farmers To You Team