US (WI): Local farms producing crops for Pine River Shares

In a major shift in their commercial market, the owners of Homegrown Farm in Bayfield are selling their wholesale produce this summer to Pine River Shares for distribution to local residents. The farm previously was selling wholesale to restaurants in Telluride.

“We hated that our food was going so far away,” said Emily Jensen, who has run the farm with her husband, Mike, for 15 years.

They knew their produce was being eaten predominantly by wealthier clients they were never going to meet, but the restaurants were able to offer more money for their produce than they could make locally.

Enter Pine River Shares, which distributed food to 31,000 clients last year and wanted to start providing healthier food to residents who might not be able to afford it. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge spike in the number of people who use the group’s food pantry.

“We want to feed hungry people good food,” said Pam Wilhoite, director of Pine River Shares.

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