In the heart of New Bedford, Coastal Foodshed stands as a beacon of community support, connecting local farmers with those in need. As a nonprofit farm and food hub, their mission is simple yet profound: to facilitate the sale of locally grown food while ensuring accessibility for vulnerable populations and food-insecure communities across the SouthCoast.

The voice behind Coastal Foodshed is passionate and purposeful. With a dedication to making a tangible difference, they serve as the vital link between farmers and the wider community. Their approach is multifaceted, encompassing direct outreach to farmers, operating a central hub, and orchestrating various distribution channels.

At the core of their efforts lies a commitment to accessibility. Recognizing the disparities in food access. According to Stephanie Perks, the co-founder and executive director, Coastal Foodshed is “essentially the bridge between our farmers and our community”. By working closely with farmers, they streamline the process, making it easier for them to bring their produce to market. Simultaneously, they ensure that these nutritious offerings reach those who need them most.

One of Coastal Foodshed's primary initiatives is their distribution network, which extends far beyond traditional markets. Through online platforms and farmers markets, they provide convenient avenues for community members to access fresh, locally sourced food. Moreover, their partnership with food pantries underscores their dedication to reaching underserved populations.

The impact of Coastal Foodshed's work is significant and far-reaching. With a secured budget of $1 million, they are poised to make a tangible difference in the lives of many. Collaborating with organizations such as Damian's Food Pantry, United Way of Greater New Bedford's Hunger Commission, and Pace Food Bank, they ensure that no one in the community goes hungry.

Exciting developments are on the horizon for Coastal Foodshed. Their upcoming move to a new space at Kilburn Mill marks a significant milestone in their journey. With plans to expand their infrastructure. This move symbolizes not just a physical relocation but a maturation and growth of their organization.

The journey ahead is one of continued dedication and innovation. Coastal Foodshed's website,, serves as a central hub for information and engagement. Here, individuals can learn about buying local food, explore volunteer opportunities, and contribute to the organization's mission through donations.

As Coastal Foodshed embarks on this next chapter, their vision remains unwavering: to foster a community where access to fresh, healthy food is a right, not a privilege. Through their tireless efforts, they embody the spirit of unity and compassion, proving that together, we can build a more equitable and nourished future for all.

Additional reporting by Aidan Buck.


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