a collective vision
to diversify, expand and safeguard a local healthy food economy that will preserve farmland, its integrity and biodiversity, in Frederick and surrounding counties, and ensure food access to the regional population.
Community F.A.R.E.- Food, Advocacy, Resources, Education (F.A.R.E.) is a not-for-profit organization located in Frederick Maryland – where history, agriculture, vibrant communities and nature all connect in one place. Community FARE works hand-in-hand with hundreds of volunteers from Friends of Frederick County, Stream Link Education and Community Renewable Energy, under the umbrella of Land and Cultural Preservation Fund, Inc (a 501c3) to support healthy, vibrant, diverse and resilient communities in our region and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since 2004 we have been a steady voice promoting growth policies and education that speak to development in and around municipalities over the conversion of farms, woods and streams to subdivisions, roads and strip malls. Each year Maryland loses 17,000 acres of open space due to poorly planned development.
Community FARE, founded in 2011, is joining the growing network of entrepreneurs in the USA that are using market forces to promote sustainable farming, public health, and to protect our precious soils, water and air quality. In 2015 we embarked upon a journey to learn more about the market demand, our local farm supply, and how to build a financially viable local food economy.
We have documented our research interviews in this report Frederick Food Hub Feasibility Analysis and appendices. Throughout this study we identified challenges to sustainable land use management and opportunities for improvement as well as barriers to market entry for growers; Community FARE will work to build community partnerships to address those challenges.
The research was based on the premise that by creating the aggregation, distribution and marketing infrastructure (a “food hub”) to better connect the consumptive needs of urban Frederick and nearby urban centers with the production and sales needs of our regional rural farm community, the market demand for locally grown products will be able to flourish, and supply will increase to meet it.
It was also based on the growing market opportunity for local food. Since 2007 the number of farmers markets in the USA has increased 180%, we’ve seen that happen in our region as well. Food hubs around the nation have increased 255%, and in farm to school programs by 430% . Millions of dollars are reinvested in communities around the nation with the purchases of local food. Read our Economic Impact Analysis.
An enterprise focused on selling farm product wholesale to institutional markets will improve the economic viability of our region’s farms, individual farm stability and expansion, agricultural service industry stability and growth, value-added production and incubation of new businesses and jobs, reverse the trend of farmland loss to suburban sprawl, provide market driven incentive for growers to improve their land stewardship practices, and preserve the rural culture of the Frederick County region. This is Community F.A.R.E.’s aspiration.
1000 Friends of Maryland, Land Preservation: http://friendsofmd.org/index.php/priority-issues/land-preservation
 Wallace Center, National Good Food Network, W. Gray presentation March 2015.