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Coronavirus Pandemic Highlights Food System Weaknesses and Local Resilience

Changing food demand is rocking the U.S. food system, revealing areas of strength and weakness, according to a New Hope Network feature. Diversified small farmers are weathering the challenge better than most, as increased demand for CSA subscriptions is helping to offset decreased restaurant business. Farmers who have a diversity of crops and a range of market outlets are maintaining sales, notes the article, while farms that grow just one crop or have only one customer are struggling. Small farmers are quickly adapting their businesses to meet customer demand, in a way that large operations can’t. At least one farmer has taken to neighborhood deliveries with a farm truck akin to an ice cream truck. However, the future is still uncertain for many small operations facing the loss of off-farm incomes and for rural communities dependent on community interaction.