How a Produce Partnership with The Good Acre Changed One Farmer’s Life
Robert recalls a time where he would wake up early seven days a week to drive and set up his stall at different farmer's markets across the Twin Cities. Now, Robert spends just one morning per week at the market and six mornings with his family.
Robert Lor of My Little Garden is one of the hard-working farmers that Second Harvest Heartland purchases nutritious, high-quality produce from through The Good Acre nonprofit food hub. The Good Acre is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect and strengthen farmers, food makers and communities through good food. Robert has a wholesale contract with The Good Acre of more than $40,000 for the season—and over $30,000 of that contract was fulfilled through purchases made by Second Harvest Heartland.
The Good Acre helps Second Harvest Heartland source 16 different varieties of culturally connected produce for food shelves.
Second Harvest Heartland’s work with The Good Acre supports farmers of color in establishing and growing their farming operations. In 2023, the food bank purchased over 300,000 pounds of produce from 48 different BIPOC growers. The three-year partnership established in 2021 was such a big success that it has been extended to cover the 2024 and 2025 growing seasons.
These contracted sales reduce the time and energy farmers like Robert spend on growing crops without a guaranteed market, leaving more time for just about everything else—like his daughter’s wedding in Mexico.
Robert Lor of My Little Garden enjoying family time in Cancun for his daughter’s wedding after a busy season on spent on the farm.
Stable, multi-season opportunities like this are needed to address the historic and structural inaccessibility of land, credit and markets for farmers of color. By strengthening the economic power of farmers of color, this partnership also addresses hunger as it exists today while building generational wealth for longer-term stability.
Through The Good Acre’s partnership with Second Harvest Heartland, BIPOC growers like Robert are able to have healthy and consistent balance in their lives while providing the food that gives balance and comfort to neighbors visiting food shelves across Minnesota.