The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Presents Farmer of the Year Award to Atlas Farm

Gideon Porth, owner of Atlas Farm in South Deerfield, was honored in March by The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts with a Farmer of the Year Award. The award is presented annually in recognition of local farmers who donate to us the largest amount of vegetables during the year. In 2022, Atlas Farm donated 88,468 pounds of food, the equivalent of 73,723 meals for individuals and families across Western Massachusetts.

Brandie Taggart, The Food Bank’s Food Procurement Coordinator, presented the Farmer of the Year Award to Atlas Farm’s Gideon Porth.

“It’s a great honor to work with The Food Bank for all these years,” said Gideon Porth, owner of Atlas Farm. “We’re honored to receive the award and have always valued our relationship with The Food Bank and the work you do.”

Gideon has been named Farmer of the Year by The Food Bank for the last four years (since 2019).  In addition to his generous certified organic donations throughout the year, Gideon is one of The Food Bank’s contracted farmers on one of our Food Bank Farms in Hadley. The Food Bank also purchases produce from Atlas Farm through the MassGrown program.

“Atlas Farm has been a valued partner and friend of The Food Bank for many years,” said Brandie Taggart, The Food Bank’s Food Procurement Coordinator. “Gideon and his team have consistently maintained a focus on community involvement and food access throughout its production and distribution activities.”

Gideon Porth and the lettuce cutting machine he built by hand.

“It’s a win-win,” said Porth. “We have a lot of produce here that isn’t perfect grade…and there’s a terrible paradigm in the food industry where imperfect food is generally waste, when in fact it’s nutritious, good food. It feels fantastic to provide good food to The Food Bank and know it’s helping to feed our neighbors in need.”

Atlas Farm growing fields in South Deerfield, MA.

Atlas Farm serves as a model for community participation in the local food system.  The Food Bank works closely with 37 local farms in western Massachusetts to provide fresh produce to 168-member meal sites and food pantries in the region and through our direct Mobile Food Bank sites in neighborhoods with high food insecurity. We’re thankful to Atlas Farm and all our farming partners for supporting more than 93,000 individuals each month in western Massachusetts who are struggling to put food on the table.

Learn more about Atlas Farm here.