FARM HANDS-NOURISH THE FLATHEAD

Nourish People. Cultivating Community.

aka FarmHands Nourish   |   Whitefish, MT   |  www.farmhandsnourish.org

Mission

The mission of Farm Hands Nourish is to build a strong community food system that fosters socially just ways of accessing food. Our work is focused on providing ACCESS to healthy, local food for members of our community who cannot afford it. We know that food security is access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. At a minimum, this includes the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods and the assured ability to acquire personally acceptable foods in a socially acceptable way. Many folks struggle to prioritize healthy, adequate food on a tight budget. Our Food for All programs help alleviate that stress of affording healthy, local food and give community members the opportunity to control their food choices.

Ruling year info

2011

Board President - Founder

Barb Brant

Main address

PO Box 4404

Whitefish, MT 59937 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-2056363

NTEE code info

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The mission of Farm Hands Nourish is to build a strong community food system that fosters socially just ways of accessing food. Our work is focused on providing ACCESS to healthy, local food for members of our community who cannot afford it. We know that food security is access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. At a minimum, this includes the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods and the assured ability to acquire personally acceptable foods in a socially acceptable way. Many folks struggle to prioritize healthy, adequate food on a tight budget. Our Food for All programs help alleviate that stress of affording healthy, local food and give community members the opportunity to control their food choices. We support EDUCATION for beginning farmers, supporting agricultural educational opportunities and teach food systems classes to middle school children.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Double SNAP Dollars

Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) – The DSD program focuses on SNAP recipients’ access to fresh, healthy food. The average benefit per person per meal is $1.40 for those on SNAP. While this program is supplemental, that amount does not allow for the regular purchase of fresh, healthy food. In Flathead County alone over 11,000 community members receive SNAP benefits. The DSD Program allows SNAP recipients to come to the Farmers’ Markets in Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell to use their SNAP card for the purchase of farm fresh food products. We match $30 for $30 each market. This increases access to fresh, healthy food and keeps these dollars in our community. The DSD program is a statewide effort to increase access to healthy local food. We serve as the spoke for Northwest Montana and support other market in the region with funding and technical assistance.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Farmers

Blackfeet - Nourish Project – This project continues to support the efforts of FAST Blackfeet a non-profit based in Browning Montana working towards food sovereignty on the Blackfeet Nation. We work on small find raising campaign each year to support their efforts.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

School Coins – Farm Hands works towards increasing access to healthy, local food. Educating school children about our local food system and making healthy food choices creates a healthier community. We give local school children $5 coins (along with education) to come and purchase fresh, local food from our area farmers at the Farmers’ Market.
Senior Coupons – Senior Coupons is a federal program that gives low income seniors coupon booklets to use at the Farmers’ Market on fresh fruits and vegetables. These federal dollars are difficult to obtain so Farm Hands developed our own Senior Coupon Program. We target low income seniors (many on SNAP) and give them $30 booklets to spend with Farmers during the summer.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Seniors

Columbia Falls Backpack Enhancement Program – The Columbia Falls School District has over 350 children in their weekend backpack program, providing weekend meals to the most vulnerable students. In Montana 1 in 6 children live in a food insecure homes meaning, the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. In Glacier Gateway Elementary that number is 1 in 3.5 households. Farm Hands was asked by the Montana Food Bank Network to become the fiscal sponsor for this district wide program. Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, Farm Hands will be responsible to provide all the food for this essential program. We currently add fresh fruits and vegetables each week. We provide local produce whenever available. Additionally, we will provide shelf stable bagged food each week and food for the Columbia Falls High School Pantry. We will increase the nutritional value of these bags and add fresh food each week.

Population(s) Served

Farm Hands maintains a Farm Map of the Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. We have an electronic version online as well as a printed version.

Population(s) Served
Farmers
Adults

Food Rx – Our food prescription program is a partnership with the North Valley Professional Center and starts on the premise that food is medicine. The clinic screen patients for food insecurity and prioritizes patients with children. Once families are enrolled in the program they are given and orientation packet containing a guide to shopping at the market, cooking and knife skills and recipes. Patient being their prescription to the market of the choice. After a quick tour they are given the allotted weekly coins and off they shop to procure local, fresh fruits and vegetable. Patients reported an increase of fruits and vegetable consumption from 1-2 times a week to 5-7 times a week! A huge win for year 1!

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

Free the Seeds! – The first Saturday in March each year we host our Free the Seeds event. This highly successful event is hosted at Flathead Valley Community College where we average 1200 people to attend each year. Free the Seeds’ goal is to support building a sustainable and resilient future for our community through real seeds, real food and real skills. Each year we offer between 20 - 30 educational workshops by local experts, more than 40 booths with information and resources for accessing and growing food locally, a seed exchange and community conversations on reducing food waste, protecting food sources and increasing local food access. All workshops are OPI-accredited for K-12 teachers, and kids 8 and older can attend kid-friendly activities throughout the day.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We work closely with the Columbia Falls School district to maintain the Wildcat garden and provide garden and nutrition education to students in the district.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Children and youth

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Food for All: (Values/Vision)
• Create and ensure access to healthy and nutritious food for seniors, school children & people with limited access
• Support a just food system
• Increase the number of community gardens – creating opportunities for families and individuals to directly participate in growing and eating nutritious foods, creating garden-based/food-based educational opportunities for community members
• The Blackfeet- Nourish project works with the Blackfeet Nation to create food sovereignty. This includes bi-weekly deliveries to the Browning Food Bank and the establishment of FAST Blackfeet.
• Increase acceptance of SNAP/EBT at Farmers Markets
• Increase incentives for SNAP recipients to afford healthy local food. Current $10 a market.
• Bring low income seniors to our markets increasing their access to healthy local food.
• Strengthen connections with organizations that build healthy communities through local food.
• Add fresh fruit and vegetable (local when possible) to weekly distributions of food for the backpack program in Columbia Falls.

Farmer/Rancher: (Values/Vision)
• Reconnect people to the sources of their food: Who’s Your Farmer?
• Help to ensure that markets are available for interested farmers/growers to make the leap from commodities to food projects (farm to institution)
• Create value for local food and a local food system.
• Educate consumers about the benefits of eating a regional and seasonal diet.
• Work with farmers to discover what resources and educational tools are needed.
• Provide training and field days to fulfill educational needs in our valley.
• Continue to increase relevant offerings at our annual free the seeds event day.
• Increase awareness of food sources.
• Support a sustainable food system
• Increase the number of people growing food
• Upgrade and Maintain Farm Hands Map online and in print.
• Link community gardens to food access programs
• Support and Encourage School gardens in Flathead Valley.
Youth Empowerment: (Values/Vision)
• Provide opportunity for youth to have a direct, positive impact on their communities
• Provide nutrition education that will have a life-long impact.
• Inspire youth to participate in the local food movement.
• Give kids with limited opportunities/resources access to obtain transferable skills and make a difference in their communities
• Create opportunities for youth to understand the value of hard work and work ethics – encouraging youth to find value through hard work and/or through community service
• Use School Coins to bring younger students to the market to pick out their own fruits and vegetables, in turn bringing more families to the markets.
• Provide cooking classes at schools and food banks to help educate folks on the use of local food.
• Encourage and support local farm to institution programs.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We work with low income, food insecure community member, children and senior.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We provide weekend food to food insecure students and roughly 4 times a year we provide survey cards that are stamped. We ask for feedback on food we provide, ask about which food is used/unused. We are about preference and advice on new types of food we could add. We have provided more gluten free items and have eliminated products folks do not use.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It's easy to say, "we want to help people", but if we do not ask those people what kind of help they need and how they want it, we are not really serving them. We have worked closely with No Kid Hungry on the Amplify Montana Project which bring folks with learned experience together to promote leadership and way for stories to be shared. This process has allowed us to form an advisory committee that set and agenda and works on projects they are passionate about. This has allowed us to better serve their needs.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

FARM HANDS-NOURISH THE FLATHEAD
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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FARM HANDS-NOURISH THE FLATHEAD

Board of directors
as of 01/24/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Barb Brant

Foolish Blooms

Term: 2002 -


Board co-chair

Teckla Putnam

Logan Health

Term: 2018 -

Caitlin Coghlan

SNAP-ed for Flathead County

Naomi Delaloye

Whitefish Public School, Teacher

Whitney Pratt

Farm to School Educator/Farmer

Emily Hess

Farmer - Earth Star Farm

Kim Solem

Retired

Davey Gordon

Small Business Owner

Amy Weinberg

Small Business Owner

Erica Langacher

Nurse and Public Health Advocate

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/24/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/19/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.