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Farm Grub launches food delivery service that also fights hunger

About a year before the pandemic, company owners started researching how to best connect local farmers to local customers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Even a crowded farmers market represents a small percentage of the grocery shopping public. 

"We see through research that about 10% to 15% of society will go that extra mile to eat healthy food, they'll go to the farmers market on the weekend, they'll wait a week for their farm box and we think that's great and that's amazing. We're really focusing on the other 85% to 90% of the rest of us, myself included, who are too busy," Wade Austin said. 

He and two partners have been busy launching Farm Grub. 

"It's not a profit-driven business. It's a community-mission driven business. We are strong believers in community sustainability."  

Buy local. Sell local. Waste less food.

"The CDC says that 40% of all food that's produced is wasted," he said. "And we also knew that one in three families struggle for basic dietary needs so those are really the first two statistics that drove us down the road on this idea."

The Farm Grub Website features produce, meat, spices, gift baskets and other local items.

Select what you want any day of the week.

Expect delivery in two hours. Delivery is free through the holidays. 

Credit: Farm Grub
Farm Grub delivers fresh food within two hours

That's the practical way Farm Grub has evolved out of a three part mission.

"Empower local farms. We want to provide them a distribution channel and the support to produce good, healthy, locally produced food.  Our second mission is to provide consumers with healthier options that are affordable and convenient," he said. "And then our third and most important mission is to support everyone within the community regardless of their income."

Credit: Farm Grub
A refrigerator full of food from Farm Grub

The company is not only delivering food but also feeding the hungry.  Farm Grub's business model of local-to-local includes supporting Second Harvest Food Bank.

"We want to help feed the hungry. They're the best partner we could have because they do it better than anyone else," he said. "Consumers can round up their orders to the nearest dollar all that 100% of that money goes to Second Harvest, and then again 15% of all our profits go to second harvest."

Credit: Farm Grub
The Farm Grub e-commerce website feature produce, meat, spices and gift baskets

Wade Austin hopes to prove that Farm Grub's business model works here in the Knoxville area then extend it to more communities. 

"By purchasing from Farm Grub you're helping not just Farm Grub but you're helping the entire community be stronger and self-sustainable and provide food for those less fortunate," he said.

RELATED: New website delivers produce to people's front doors in Knox County