Growing the Table (GTT) is a philanthropic project cultivated by the Office of Kat Taylor and TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation. The mission of GTT is to help select farmers and ranchers achieve economic viability and sustainability through profitable market alternatives, and to increase access to food aid for the food-insecure by creating distribution sites for all people in need. GTT is a triple entendre program that achieves outcomes in the following three ways:
1) Increase the amount of harvest that is saved from waste during the interruption of normal demand channels during and after COVID-19, Expand participation to smaller farms and ranches owned or operated by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), women, LGBTQ+ people, and/or organic or regenerative practitioners, thereby shifting the food supply chain permanently in favor of racial, gender and environmental justice, and Increase the food delivery or pick up sites so that more people seeking food aid can access it than is possible with food bank distribution alone.
Growing the Table has distributed over 50,000 boxes of fresh produce, tens of thousands of freshly prepared meals, and paid local small-scale farmers nearly 1.5 million for their produce, some of which is at risk of spoilage. This is only the beginning as we dimension and implement over 30 unique pilots across California. The network that is being created by this work is strengthening local community partnerships in the agricultural space, helping small businesses (farms) stay afloat in the face of crippled markets, promoting better health and dietary habits, and facilitating local agricultural economic development. In this mission they are not alone and they join hundreds of other organizations who share the same goal, they intend to bring their voices to the table.
Diverse farmers deserve to be at the heart of feeding the millions of food insecure Californians during the current pandemic and beyond. These farmers understand many of the dynamics embedded in racial, gender, and economic inequality that drive hunger and reduce market access in the first place. Growing the Table envisions a world where underrepresented farms and ranches owned by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), women, and LGBTQ+, as well as regenerative and organic farms thrive, have access to a wide array of customers, and are economically resilient. These farms and ranches will have prolific distribution of their crops hosted at food banks, school districts, community-based organizations, and other trusted institutions that serve their communities. These growers will be compensated fairly for their available crops and will be a bridge to the new food economy during and after the pandemic