Today people across the world use websites like Craigslist, Amazon, EBay and Etsy because they provide an easy and convenient online platform for buying, trading and selling products. Why not use this modern day method of commerce to exchange food? Introducing Sacramento.cropmobster.com, a free online community for the Sacramento region where crop surplus, food products, feed, and equipment, can be publicized and exchanged. CropMobster is a virtual place where those who have food and can’t use it, are able to sell or trade it with those who can.
Valley Vision introduced CropMobster Sacramento to change the way we share, distribute and access food. Developed by a farmer to reduce on-farm waste, CropMobster today opens up valuable connections across the local food system by linking farms, food banks, restaurants, food businesses, and local residents through a free and easy-to-use online food hub. CropMobster helps grow local farming businesses, alleviates food insecurity across our communities, reduces food waste headed for landfills, and ultimately helps bolster our region’s essential food economy.
What is the goal?
The goal is to reduce food waste both on-farm and after, increase the amount of food making its way into our local food system to support farmers and ranchers, increase health and nutrition across our communities, and expand the region’s reputation as an innovator in food and agricultural practices.
Why is this important?
This is important because it’s estimated that as much as 40% of all food produced in the U.S. winds up as waste. This equals 133 billion pounds and $161 billion in food value. The region’s food and agriculture system is one of the most prized in the world, yet one in six residents in Sacramento County is food insecure. CropMobster offers an accessible and practical solution to closing the gap between unnecessary hunger and preventable food waste.
There are other challenges that CropMobster helps solve as well. Things like:
- Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, the county food bank for Sacramento, already has the systems in place and access points to 250+ partner organizations to deliver food and crop surpluses to our food insecure residents.
- Food waste is the single largest source of waste, making landfills the third largest source of methane gas in the U.S. Under AB 1826 (Chesbro), CropMobster can help jurisdictions reach mandates to reduce the volume of organic matter reaching landfills.
- CropMobster can help off-set disadvantages that small farms and food businesses currently face in accessing the larger food distribution system.
- Before CropMobster, there was no widely-accessible venue allowing those with potential food surpluses to link with those who need or want additional food.
What is Valley Vision doing about it?
Valley Vision introduced CropMobster to revolutionize how our communities exchange, buy and sell food and food products. We believe that connecting suppliers from farms, ranches and restaurants with food banks, individual residents and others in need, we stand to improve community food access, decrease food waste, reduce methane gas produced through landfills, and at the same time, foster economic viability of food producers, processors, and others within the region’s food economy.
What is our desired impact?
Our desired impact is to create strong community of local food system advocates, improved quality of life for our community’s residents and cultivate a robust local food economy.
How does this effort affect triple-bottom-line objectives?
Economy: CropMobster supports the region’s food economy by providing an additional market for the trade and purchase of local products.
Environment: CropMobster is consistent with Valley Vision’s environmental sustainability agenda by supporting continued open space and agricultural land use principles. CropMobster also supports air quality goals through reduction of methane gases in landfills and potentially reduces vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
Equity: CropMobster increases opportunities for healthy, local food to reach underserved communities, and supports small farms, including beginning farmers, often struggling to find markets for their products.
Valley Vision began working with CropMobster(TM) in April 2016 and is providing site moderation and impact facilitation for the Sacramento exchange. Additionally, Valley Vision is conducting outreach to develop an active base of site users.