Local food supply chain resources available amid COVID-19

By Courtney Long–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Farmers, processors, and sellers can benefit from ISU Extension and Outreach’s “COVID-19 Resources for Farms, Food Businesses and Food Systems Practitioners” guide, which provides up to date information on operating safely.

AMES, Iowa – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a far-reaching impact within the food supply and value chain system, affecting multiple sectors of the food economy.

In an effort to help explain the many issues and options, the Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development program with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is sharing timely resources and answers online.

Courtney Long, food systems program manager with FFED, has compiled an updated document that explains the issue, and provides specific resources for farmers, processors, farmers markets, grocery stores, and distribution and virtual food sales.

The document, “COVID-19 Resources for Farms, Food Businesses and Food Systems Practitioners,” is updated bi-weekly and includes resources from Iowa, the nation, and other states.

“COVID 19 has hit us all in various ways and there are so many different considerations as it relates to farms and to food systems,” Long said.

The document provides potential solutions for each sector, using examples from Iowa and other states. Farmers markets will soon be opening in Iowa, and the document provides insight into the options for market operators, vendors, and customers.

The FFED program also has resources available on its COVID-19 Resources page, with information for farms, farmers markets, farm to school, food systems, and businesses.

Long said she’s learning of some, “unique and innovative practices,” being done as food suppliers and consumers work on ways to do business while following social distancing.

For more information, or for questions not currently answered in the resources, she can be reached at 515-294-2213, or [email protected].